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June 2020

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Current Issue

Throwing in the Towel: Restaurant Closings

After initially closing in March, along with other restaurants not equipped to do takeout, Michelle Courtright was excited to reopen her Fig + Farro plant-based restaurant in Minneapolis’ Calhoun Square on May 6.

From the Editor: Spotting an Illuminating Light

I do not consider myself to be a rebel, so leaving my literal four walls before the Governor’s stay-at-home order officially ended to head to Wisconsin for the weekend was a bit out of my comfort zone.

Server Speak: What’s It Like to Wear a Mask to Work?

What’s It Like to Wear a Mask to Work?

George Floyd: More Grief and Sadness

The Twin Cities were thrown into a different sort of pandemic in late May, where restaurants and their staff were once again both victim and benefactor.

Teaghan Persons: Special Event Art

One day you might spot Teaghan Persons wearing a vintage fur coat while escorting guests through a decedent winter setting to their table at the Grand Cafe for a five-course tasting

Coffee Talk

In keeping with its mission to nurture chefs and other leaders building America’s food culture, the James Beard Foundation is offering a variety of opportunities to aspiring and established culinary professionals via nearly $650,000 in scholarships, tuition waivers and grants.

Voices: Operating a Restaurant Makes You Part Soothsayer

We checked in with three very different restaurant operators to see how they were maintaining while gearing up for the day when they can finally open their doors.

Institutional Dining: How Hennepin Healthcare Geared Up

When the pandemic was first on the horizon, William Marks, director of food, nutrition and environmental services at Hennepin Healthcare, says his team began to reconfigure everything from patient meals to how they’d feed the doctors and nurses on the frontline once they had to close all their dining rooms.

Reconfigure Your Dining Room to Welcome Back Guests

Prepping your restaurant to reopen during a pandemic is the polar opposite of what you initially did to get the restaurant ready for its grand opening.

Around Town

With the National Football League’s season still up in the air, so is the Taste of the NFL, a wildly successful fundraiser started by Minneapolis restaurateur and philanthropist, Wayne Kostroski.

ProStart Teacher Hones Virtual Baking Skills

ProStart instructor Mary Levinski had just started her first week of baking with her younger high school students when classes ended abruptly due to the pandemic.

Packaging Industry Becomes Even More Vital

With sit-down restaurants switching to a takeout and delivery model, it seems as if the packaging industry should be having a moment. But like every other business out there, packaging is taking a hit from the pandemic as well.

Protect Your Property While You’re Shuttered

After someone threw a brick through the glass door at the Birchwood Café and found the cash drawer empty, owner Tracy Singleton posted this message on Facebook: “Pro tip—restaurants doing curbside pickup do not have cash on hand during a pandemic.”

Restaurant Openings

Billy Sushi, which took over the previous Sweet Chow space in the North Loop, started its restaurant run with a table in front of the door for taking payment for takeout orders.

Time to Move to a No-tipping Policy?

While it’s not anybody’s bright spot, coronavirus has offered restaurants a reset button. And some local restaurateurs are considering taking advantage of this opportunity to eliminate tipping.

New and Noteworthy

CleanWell’s Botanical Disinfecting Wipes and Sprays solve the problem of using products that leave restaurants smelling like a bleach factory.

Commodities Report: Protein Prices Surge

The protein markets have surged during the last month due to COVID-19. In early May, the USDA choice boxed beef cutout, an index of beef prices for retail and food service, rose to record highs more than doubling from the lows earlier this year.

By the Numbers: What We Have Learned So Far From COVID-19

“He who doesn’t understand history is deemed to repeat it.” And no one wants to repeat what we’ve all been through—and are still going through.

Hospitality Minnesota Report: Planning in Uncertain Times

Proceed with the confidence that restaurants excel at operational plans, especially those focused on production and service, inventory management, and safeguarding human health and safety.

Welcoming Workers Back to the Restaurant

Thanks to a generous unemployment package, where employees affected by COVID-19 shutdowns are entitled to half their salaries up to $740 a week from the state, plus an additional $600 a week from the federal government, some employees are perfectly content to wait it out.

Ask the Expert: The Art of Negotiating Rent Relief

There are some basic guidelines for rent relief discussions that can help ease the process and provide the right environment for the best possible results.

COVID-19 Resources

The following resources were compiled by the Minnesota Departments of Employment and Economic Development, Labor and Industry and Health and Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).
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