BEAVER CREEK The day before President Joe Biden signed the US bailout and green lighted a $ 28.6 billion grant program to help struggling independent restaurants and bars across the country, guests who dined at Splendido at Beaver Creek Castle raised $ 110,000 at an event. organized to support the Independent Restaurant Coalition (IRC).
On Tuesday March 9, Chef-Owner Brian Ackerman and his team hosted notable culinary figures Dominique Crenn, Andrew Zimmern, Billy Dec and Bobby Stuckey for a four-course dining experience that brought an overwhelming amount of flavor and philanthropy.
First of all, it proves our model that there are people out there who would love to contribute to our cause and do so with an event like this, Zimmern said. But more importantly, I was really excited that the confluence of this dinners date had met on the eve of this needed congressional boost.
The US bailout will ensure that independent restaurants, bars, caterers, taprooms, food trucks and others most affected by the pandemic can get the subsidies they need to survive. According to the IRC, more than 2 million people working in restaurants and bars have been out of work since the start of the pandemic and more than 110,000 restaurants have closed permanently.
This one-of-a-kind grant program provides debt-free support up to lost annual income from 2019 and 2020, with special provisions for businesses that opened in 2020 and 2019. Support can be used on eligible expenses that include payroll, mortgage, rent, utilities, maintenance, supplies, operations and more. The Small Business Administration will prioritize granting grants to businesses owned or controlled by women, veterans, or socially disadvantaged businesses.
Restaurants are such a vital part of our culture, Zimmern said. So we were delighted and grateful that Splendido allowed us to do this this year.
Ackerman said the ticket sale alone (at $ 750 per seat) raised a considerable sum, as well as sizable donations made directly to IRC from a tag linked to a QR code on each. table.
It was so great to see the community come out and donate on top of the seat price, Ackerman said.
Ackerman hopes this event will inspire other diners and restaurants to help the industry if they are in a position to do so. Similar events like this at Splendido, called Project Blue Tape, along with efforts like independent donations and a percentage of sales can all help.
Nothing is going to bounce back like they thought in some areas, Ackerman said. We were lucky here. This is why we did this.
Residents of Chateau Beaver Creek also sponsored a 10-person table filled with local first responders.
I truly continue to be overwhelmed by the generosity of this community, of the Vail Valley, said Matthew McConnell, Managing Director of Splendidos. “How does everyone continually rise to the occasion and ask: How can I help?
How can I help you?
IRC was formed by independent chefs and restaurateurs across the country who have built a grassroots movement to provide life-saving protections for the country’s 500,000 independent restaurants and the more than 11 million restaurateurs affected by the coronavirus pandemic.
Bobby Stuckey, owner of Colorados, owner and master sommelier of the Frasca Food and Wine Group in Boulder, was one of the founders of IRC and donated wines for the fundraising dinner at Splendido.
IRC just started a year ago next week, he said. We were a new organization which fortunately has been able to accomplish some major achievements, but we still have a lot of work to do. Our industry is so fragile. And I don’t think we understood the fragility until this year. And I was going to work on other initiatives after going through this pandemic. And that’s why tonight is so important.
The enthusiasm around supporting IRC and restaurants everywhere was palpable throughout the evening. Beyond the money they donated, people wondered how else to help.
The most important thing to do is go spend some money at the restaurants literally closest to you, which really makes things easier, Zimmern said. The other thing I urge people to do is go to saverestaurants.com, the website for the Independent Restaurant Coalitions.
You can donate directly on the IRC website and also find out about all the efforts to support the restaurants and bars that are currently on the move.
Cut and paste something that’s important to you and send it to everyone on your mailing list, Zimmern said. Raising awareness of what’s really going on on Capitol Hill and behind the scenes at restaurants is part of the big reveal that was trying to be successful here. So his education, his awareness and his money.
The discussions all around had a similar theme, and Zimmern poignantly coined it:
It might be easy to forget how many people are suffering during this pandemic, but it’s hard to find an industry that has suffered as much as the independent restaurant industry, he said.
Saving restaurants starts with one local meal at a time. Dine-in, take-out, gift cards all add up to help the struggling establishments around us.
The genesis of it all is that we all love this industry so much. We all love people. We all love the service and the giving, said McConnell. And it was such a difficult year, not just financially; it is not just peoples livelihood, it is what they are, it is their heart and soul.
Learn more about the support of the Coalition of Independent Restaurants and donate to saverestaurants.com.
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