July 14, 2020

The Plan for California: Jot Condie, president of the California Restaurant Association

The Plan for California: Jot Condie, president of the California Restaurant Association

Another dine-in closure for restaurants…California is the 5th largest economy in the world and the hospitality industry here employs literally hundreds of thousands of people.

Who speaks for us?

Who is looking out for our best interests?

Who’s there to make sure we survive the pandemic?

The California Restaurant Association has extended it’s resources to the industry nationwide and, on this episode, we chat with Jot Condie, president of the CRA, about the work they’re doing to make sure that California functions as a guidepost, showing other states how to support the industry that powers their economy.

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SHOW NOTES

  • How the CRA started
  • The mission of CRA
  • To represent and promote the restaurant industry in California
  • How CRA works
  • CRA represents around 25k restaurants
  • 80% independent restaurants
  • 20% larger chains
  • Inclusive to all as both types of restaurant ultimately have the same goals and struggles
  • The big wins of CRA
  • The beginning of the Covid crisis
  • The governor announced that restaurants would need to reduce to 50% capacity
  • LA mayor and 12 other mayors in the state disagreed and decreed total lockdown
  • Crisis management mode
  • Getting information to everyone - members and non-members
  • Adjusting website to the most relevant information
  • Talking to government officials for more information
  • Advocacy work during the pandemic
  • Worked with LA health department to allow groceraunts
  • Alcohol delivery allowance
  • Deferral on tax payments
  • Free up public space to allow restaurants to have sidewalk dining
  • Allow for curbside pickup in cities
  • It is important to make your voice heard
  • Government has a huge impact on operations
  • Collaborating with third-party delivery companies
  • Doordash being very accommodating to the industry
  • Try to work through issues
  • Rent is the largest fixed cost for restaurants
  • Leasing issues are far greater scope than business owner vs landlord
  • Political and legal issues intertwined
  • CRA is in conversation with mortgage industry and property owners
  • Not much support in these early efforts
  • The success of campaigns depends on the votes
  • Resources that the CRA provides
  • Integrated insurance solutions
  • Legal center
  • Law firm partners create free compliance documents
  • Discounted legal fees
  • Webinars
  • United healthcare discount
  • What are our obligations under the new guidelines?
  • Face coverings for employees
  • Sanitation standards
  • Guidelines must be followed to encourage guests to return
  • If your restaurant is seen to be breaking rules on social media, it will ruin your reputation
  • Advocacy doesn’t work if businesses don’t also join in making their voice heard