Wines of South Africa USA Launches Industry Podcast and Virtual Tastings to Support Sommeliers

Wines of South Africa (WOSA) USA, the industry association that promotes the exports of South African wine, is proud to announce the launch of two initiatives aimed to offer continued education and awareness of South African wines, as well as support out-of-work sommeliers: the Wines of South Africa Podcast and WOSA Somm Sessions. The latter offers consumers a sommelier-led virtual tasting experience geared to their own tastes and selection of South African wines.

The Wines of South Africa Podcast runs bi-weekly, covering a different aspect of the South African wine scene with each episode. Clarke interviews different members of the South African wine industry and its advocates, including winery owners, winemakers, importers and sommeliers. The first episodes have explored Méthode Cap Classique, the country’s signature sparkling wine; the Swartland wine region; Stellenbosch and its flag-bearer variety, Cabernet Sauvignon; and Pinotage, respectively. Upcoming episodes include Chenin Blanc, to be released on June 19, just in time for International #DrinkChenin Day on June 20, and the Hemel-en-Aarde wine region, released on July 3. Future episodes will focus on the Constantia wine region, Old-Vine wines and chardonnay.

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Online wine retailer pledges to help winemakers affected by the closure of restaurants, tasting rooms and traditional retail stores

Up to $5M will be made available to independent winemakers looking to sell their wines in USA, UK and Australia, the largest direct-to-consumer (DtC) wine business in the US with over 500,000 Angel customers worldwide, today announces a $5M support fund for winemakers affected by COVID-19 disruption.

The fund, which is immediately available and will be deployed to purchase stock that was previously destined for channels such as restaurants, tasting rooms and traditional retail stores, is available to independent winemakers all over the world.

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National Restaurant Association Releases COVID-19-Specific Guidance for Operation Reopening

The National Restaurant Association today released new guidance for operation reopening which provides a basic summary of recommended practices that can be used to help mitigate exposure to the COVID-19 virus. The document is meant to be used in conjunction with instruction operators receive from authorities during their reopening phase-in.

The guidance focuses on food safety, cleaning and sanitizing, employee health monitoring and personal hygiene, and social distancing. Each section includes a list of actionable items an operation should consider as it evaluates its safety procedures.

The guidance builds on already established best practices and available requirements that address specific health and safety concerns related to the spread of COVID-19. Included in the document are highlights of the recently released Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Best Practices for Retail Food Stores, Restaurants, and Food Pick-Up/Delivery Services During the COVID-19 Pandemic.

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Honest Tea Founders Seth Goldman and Julie Farkas Launch Eat the Change® Impact Grants

Couple will donate $1 million over three years with focus on link between diet and climate.

Social Entrepreneurs Seth Goldman and Julie Farkas announced today the launch of a new grants program, Eat the Change® Impact. They plan to donate $1 million ($335,000 per year) over the next three years to national and community-based nonprofits to promote more planet-friendly foods.

Grant applications will be open from April 1- May 15, 2020. All applicants must be 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations and all grants will be awarded by August 1, 2020.

“There’s a lot of anxiety about what’s going on in the world. But there’s one part of our lives everyone is empowered to control, and that’s the food choices we make,” said Seth Goldman. Goldman is a Founder of Honest Tea, PLNT Burger and is Chair of the Board of Beyond Meat.

“Planet-friendly diets do not have to be economically or geographically exclusive,” said Julie Farkas. “There are significant gaps in terms of information and access to planet-friendly diets, but we hope these grants will help close those gaps.”

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Tyme Commerce Waives Account Fees for All of 2020, Launches Gift Card Program for Restaurants

Tyme announced that all fees will be waived for restaurants who register on its meal-ordering platform, allowing small businesses to quickly accept take-out orders.

Restaurants are permitted to offer take-out and delivery during California’s state-wide stay-at-home order that went into effect last week amidst the COVID-19 outbreak.

“We wanted to offer restaurants that do not have the ability to allow their customers to order ahead for pickup to set up an account with us for free,” said Robert Marhamat, Chairman of Tyme. Fees will be waived for new restaurant operators for the remainder of 2020.

Additionally, restaurant owners are now able to sell gift cards (with no fees) directly on the Tyme platform, giving loyal customers the opportunity to support their favorite local restaurants during these challenging times.

“This is our way of giving back and helping restaurateurs propel business for the rest of 2020 without thinking about another cost,” said Marhamat. “As a younger San Francisco-based startup, we want to partner with these small business owners to ensure that independent restaurants can focus on getting their business back up and running.”

“This is a tough time for all of us, and while we have felt the impact ourselves, we are willing to make sacrifices in order to help lift up these local establishments”

About Tyme Commerce

Tyme Commerce is a personalized end-to-end food platform that customizes the world around you to your likes and preferences. With Tyme, consumers use personalized menus and an intelligent digital concierge to order from their favorite merchants. Merchants are able to customize orders and use the rich analytics data that they receive to connect better with their customers and provide a superior experience.

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The Lee Initiative’s Restaurant Workers Relief Program Expands Nationally

Program to provide assistance to furloughed restaurant workers expands to multiple cities

In response to massive layoffs in the hospitality industry due to the COVID-19 outbreak nationwide, Chef Edward Lee, in partnership with The LEE Initiative and Maker’s Mark, launched The Restaurant Workers Relief Program. This program started on Tuesday, March 17 out of the catering kitchen of Lee’s restaurant, 610 Magnolia, and was able to serve over 400 individuals in the restaurant industry who had recently become unemployed.

The overwhelming response from the community inspired other chefs around the country to create similar programs, working directly with The LEE Initiative and Maker’s Mark. Restaurant workers must bring in proof of recent employment (paystubs will suffice) and will receive hot meals, toiletries, cleaning supplies, diapers, formula, personal hygiene items, and more. Times, days and exact details vary between relief centers.

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New National Dining Bonds Initiative Aims to Support Restaurants Facing Financial Crisis from Coronavirus

Diners Can Invest in the Future of the Industry Now, at a Savings

Due to the impact that the coronavirus Covid-19 is having on the restaurant community, a team of restaurant industry veterans led by HP-PR and Hall PR have set into motion a nationwide initiative to help get funds into the hands of restaurants now.

To help ensure the survival of these restaurants, many of which are family-owned, the PR industry has banded together to create a campaign called “Dining Bonds.” These bonds work just like savings bonds, where guests can purchase a bond at a value rate today, to be redeemed for full face value in the future.

The dining bonds are being offered by participating restaurants across the country at a suggested savings of 25% when purchased. For example, a $100 bond will sell for $75 and would be redeemed for full value on or after the redemption date, typically 30 – 60 days after purchase.

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Webinar on the Vital Importance of Local Advertising in Tough Times

Why Restaurants, Small Businesses Need to Get a Positive Message Out to Loyal Customers

Targetable, the fast-growing ad tech platform for the restaurant industry and small businesses, will host a free video webinar on Thursday, March 19 to discuss the best practices for customer retention and acquisition in the current business environment, including the importance of smart, proactive local messaging to address concerns connected to the spread coronavirus.

The 45-minute webinar, featuring Targetable CEO Vlad Edelman and Michael Moran, CEO of the global risk consultancy Transformative, will take place at 11AM Pacific Time (2PM Eastern / 1800 GMT) on Thursday, March 19. A question and answer period of 15 minutes will follow. Registration is free on Targetable’s website (, with the first 100 registered participants receiving a matching $100 credit from Targetable for their first ad campaign.
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