D.C. Hospitality Industry Professionals Cope With Losing Loved Ones to COVID-19

“No one should work to live. I feel like we all do that too much.”

At least 770,000 people around the world have lost their lives to COVID-19. Losing a loved one to the disease has been particularly difficult for local hospitality professionals who have already seen the pandemic decimate their industry. Whether they’re ensuring tables are 6 feet apart or reminding patrons to put on their masks, every move […]

On the Line: How Four Restaurants and Bars Are Faring Five Months Into the Pandemic

"With every scenario, something is going to suck, but you have to decide what sucks the least."

The Independent Restaurant Coalition hired actor Morgan Freeman to narrate a haunting call for help released earlier this month. “The COVID-19 crisis threatens to permanently close 85 percent of independent restaurants,” Freeman says in the ad that urges Congress to pass legislation including $120 billion in aid specifically for the hospitality industry.  When Mayor Muriel […]

These Are the Neighborhood Bars and Restaurants We’ve Relied on During the Pandemic

Where to get Caribbean seafood, Peruvian chicken, Ethiopian breakfast, and boneless Buffalo wings

Before the COVID-19 pandemic hit, the world was our oyster. It was possible to move from place to place and cross oceans to soak in the sights, smells, and sounds of other cultures. But stopping the spread of the virus necessitates shrinking our circle. During the past five months, we’ve stayed closer to home and […]

Jumping Shift: Hospitality Workers Exit the Industry Seeking Stability and Safety

"It feels good not to go home and want to fall through the door. Eventually, the party’s gotta be over."

“I feel so much safer here,” Marie Figueroa confesses. “I’m not in a room full of people without masks on talking and eating and having a good time.” After spending most of her adult life behind the bar, the 42-year-old now sits at a desk where she sells Volkswagens. She met the owner of the […]

Frozen Food is Popular During the Pandemic, but Local Makers Say Competition Is Fierce

"In the freezer, if you get it in, someone’s getting kicked out."

Americans flocked to the frozen aisle so frequently during the COVID-19 pandemic that they needed to buy bigger and better appliances. According to Nielsen data, freezer sales in April were up 195 percent from the same time period last year. The data company also found that during the first couple months of the pandemic, U.S. […]

Eat, Pay, Leave: How to Be a Better Customer at D.C. Restaurants As They Reopen

The notion that the customer is always right is crumbling during COVID-19.

The belief that the customer is always right is crumbling during the COVID-19 pandemic. As restaurant owners and employees move through Phases One and Two of reopening, they find themselves taking on the added stress of acting like lifeguards. They’re constantly reminding diners about rules and recommendations the city has put in place to keep […]

Black Publicists Evaluate Solidarity Statements Restaurants Rushed to Post on Social Media

"I’d love to see a check-in report on Juneteenth 2021."

“I didn’t have time to think or feel. I jumped into the fire. That’s what we do,” says TAA Public Relations founder Aba Kwawu. When streets filled with people protesting anti-black racism and police violence following the killing of George Floyd, restaurants and other businesses rushed to react or express solidarity on social media. Kwawu’s […]

Black Hospitality Pros’ Essays on Fighting For Racial Justice in D.C. Restaurants

"If your business is not anti-racist, it is racist. Heard?"

For three months, COVID-19 disrupted the restaurant industry. While dining rooms were closed, some operators used their idle time to reflect on what the future of restaurants could and should look like—whether that’s more equitable labor models or a greater reliance on the local food system.  But then the world saw a Minneapolis police officer […]

World Central Kitchen Has Cooked Close to 500,000 Meals at Nats Park During COVID-19

Chef Mollie Moore left a career in upscale kitchens to make it happen.

Mollie Moore got thrown a curveball at Nationals Park on Monday morning. Even before Mayor Muriel Bowser implemented a citywide 7 p.m. curfew because of ongoing protests against police brutality, some of World Central Kitchen’s restaurant partners decided to close. Eateries around town typically prepare meals that they then sell to WCK for $10 to […]

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