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Guy Fieri launches virtual Flavortown Kitchen in partnership with Robert Earl plus four other things you may have missed.

5 Things: Guy Fieri launches his first ghost kitchen with Robert Earl

The NRA argues against raising the minimum wage; Resy announces a second fine-dining drive-thru; and more news from the past week

Each week, Restaurant Hospitality gathers news independent operators need to know. Here’s your list for the week of Feb. 15:

1. Restaurants received more second-round PPP loans than any other industry

In data released this week, the Small Business Administration revealed that, so far during the second round of PPP loans, the hospitality industry received 18% — or more than 134,166 loans totaling more than $18 billion — of the total loans given out. This number far exceeded other industries that received PPP loans this time around, and there's still six weeks to go until the March 31 deadline.

Read more: The hospitality industry received more than $18 billion in second-round PPP loans — more than any other industry

2. Consumers have grown more impatient during the COVID-19 pandemic

A recent Bluedot survey found that customers’ willingness to wait for drive-thru, curbside and in-store pickup orders falling to six minutes from 10 minutes just a half year ago.

The San Francisco-based company, which provides location technology for smartphone mobile apps, said its survey of more than 1,500 U.S. consumers in January also found “slow speed of service looks like a dealbreaker for consumers, as 77% stated they will leave or consider leaving a restaurant if they see a long line.”

Read more: Pandemic intensifies restaurant wait-time concerns, Bluedot survey finds

3. Restaurant operators say $15 federal minimum wage would have negative impact, NRA says

The National Restaurant Association released the results of a nationwide survey of restaurateurs and operators about what the passage of the Raise the Wage Act would mean for business recovery, ultimately asking Congress to remove it from the stimulus bill.

According to the association, 82% of respondents said the act would have a negative impact on their ability to recover from the coronavirus pandemic. When it comes to eliminating the tip credit, results showed 98% of restaurant operators said they would be forced to increase their menu prices; 84% would have to cut jobs and employee hours from normal levels; and 75% would have to cut employee benefits.

As proposed, the Raise the Wage Act would increase the federal minimum wage from $7.25 to $15 an hour over five years and eliminate the tipped wage by 2027.

Read more: National Restaurant Association writes letter to Congress asking for elimination of $15 federal minimum wage

4. Resy is launching its second fine-dining drive-thru in Miami

Reservation platform Resy — which launched a fine-dining drive-thru 10-course meal in October in Los Angeles — has decided to open its second pop-up in Miami. Taking place on March 18 and 19, the 10-course, fine-dining meal will allow customers to drive up to each station and subsequently eat in their cars. The event is designed to highlight Miami’s food scene and chefs.

Chefs already committed to the event include: Balloo (Chef Timon Balloo); Cafe La Trova (Chef Michelle Bernstein); CARBONE Miami, Harry’s Miami Beach (Chef Michael Schwartz); Mr. Mandolin, Niu Kitchen, Osaka Nikkei Miami, PLANTA (Chef David Lee); and PubbellySushi (Chef José Mendín) and more.

Read more: Resy’s latest partnership aims to bring fine dining to the drive-thru in an October event in LA in a new COVID-era dining experience

5. Guy Fieri launches virtual Flavortown Kitchen in partnership with Robert Earl

Celebrity chef Guy Fieri, of “Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives” fame, has quietly launched a virtual restaurant brand — Flavortown Kitchen — in partnership with Robert Earl’s Virtual Dining Concepts. Flavortown Kitchen has already opened in 116+ units across 25 states, plus Washington, D.C., in its soft opening phase, and serves up a simple menu of “Fieri-fied” comfort foods topped with his signature donkey sauce.

Read more: Guy Fieri’s new virtual brand with Robert Earl

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