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Kitchen United reinvents California shopping mall as food delivery hub plus four other things you may have missed this week.

Five things: Will shopping malls become hubs for restaurant delivery?

See the news for independent restaurant operators that you may have missed

Restaurant Hospitality is launching a new feature called Five Things spotlighting industry news that impacts independent restaurant operators. Here are five things you may have missed for the week of Feb. 8:

  1. New York City restaurants can reopen for indoor dining on Feb. 12

Saying COVID infection rates are decreasing, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Monday announced that indoor dining at restaurants in New York City can reopen at 25% capacity starting Friday — giving restaurants two more nights for the Valentine’s Day weekend and Lunar New Year. Previously, restaurants were to reopen on Sunday.

Andrew Rigie, executive director of the NYC Hospitality Alliance, praised Cuomo’s decision saying, “The advanced opening and better health metrics are welcome news to the city’s decimated restaurant industry and to lovers alike.”

Guidance for safety protocols are available here: Interim guidance for New York City indoor food services during the COVID-19 public health emergency

  1. Federal minimum wage hike would cost jobs, but raise workers out of poverty

The Congressional Budget Office, or CBO, on Monday issued a report on the impact of raising the federal minimum wage to $15 per hour by 2025. The bipartisan analysis said the move would impact about 17 million workers who make less than $15 per hour, and it would indirectly impact another 10 million whose wage rate would be affected. When fully enacted, the CBO said the phased-in increase would reduce employment by about 1.4 million workers, or 0.9%. But it would also reduce the number of people in poverty by 0.9 million.

Read the report hereThe Budgetary Effects of the Raise the Wage Act of 2021

  1. Kitchen United reinvents California shopping mall as food delivery hub

Pasadena, Calif.-based Kitchen United last week announced a partnership with Westfield Valley Fair in Santa Clara, Calif., where the ghost kitchen operator has launched a new system to enable the restaurant tenants to offer delivery. Kitchen United’s MIX ordering system allows consumers to order from different restaurants within the mall. A conveyor belt system brings the food to a pickup station, where third-party delivery drivers can collect the orders quickly — to avoid long walks through the mall. The system also allows mall workers to order food for delivery to a system of lockers.

Read more: Kitchen United reinvents California shopping mall as food delivery hub

  1. DoorDash acquires Chowbotics robotics company

Third-party delivery player DoorDash announced this week that it had acquired Chowbotics late last year. San Jose, Calif.-based Chowbotics is known for its creation that was once called Sally the Salad Robot, but has apparently been renamed the Fresh Food Robot.

DoorDash officials say the move will help merchants expand their menu offerings and reach customers in new markets, including made-to-order fresh food at the touch of a button.

Read moreDoorDash acquires Chowbotics robotics company

  1. Fabio Trabocchi Restaurants appoints first-ever COO

Washington, D.C.-based Fabio Trabocchi Restaurants on Monday announced that David Murphy has been named the company’s first chief operating officer. Originally from Ireland, Murphy is the former global vice president of food & beverage design & development, luxury brands, for Starwood by Marriott International, which included the oversight of strategy for The Ritz-Carlton, The Ritz-Carlton Reserve, St. Regis, The Luxury Collection, W Hotels and JW Marriott. The newly created position for Fabio Trabocchi Restaurants will enable the group’s planned expansion beyond Washington, Miami and Venice, Italy.

Contact Lisa Jennings at [email protected]

Follow her on Twitter: @livetodineout

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