This week on Eater’s Digest, we discuss some of the biggest news of the week:
- An update on government aid. The Paycheck Protection Program is officially out of money. The Restaurant Revitalization Fund needs more than twice its funding to meet every application. The Shuttered Venue Operators Grant was glitchy from the start but should have enough money to cover the current applications. No word yet on whether the RRF will be replenished.
- Guy Fieri’s streaming show. On June 12, Guy Fieri will launch a streaming special with the goal to celebrate restaurants and inspire members of the industry. It will include musical performances, conversations with restaurateurs like José Andrés and Cat Cora, celeb appearances by Shaquille O’Neal and Rob Gronkowski, and $300,000 in grant giveaways for indie restaurateurs.
- Masks in restaurants. This week Nick Kokonas announced that staffers at Alinea can forgo masks at work if they are vaccinated (and can wear a pin to demonstrate their status to guests). Meanwhile Gabriel Stulman in New York is only allowing vaccinated patrons to dine inside his new restaurant Jolene, and since the staff are all vaccinated, no one has to wear masks.
- Oatly’s IPO. The beloved oat milk brand controlled by a Belgium-based investment company and a Chinese conglomerate (plus investment firm Blackrock) is now worth $12.5 billion after an impressive initial public offering in May.
- Impossible Burger in the schools. Now that the USDA awarded plant-based Impossible Burgers the Child Nutrition Label, they can be served in schools, worrying advocates who don’t think brands should be marketed to kids in the cafeteria. But would including the Impossible branding help with uptake among teens?