Allegrini 2018

In the USA, the catering sector launches “dining bonds” to help restaurants in difficulty

Dining bonds are lunch and dinner vouchers to be redeemed when the businesses can reopen, with a 25% premium on the purchase value
Dining Bonds arrive in the U.S. to help closed restaurants for the Coronavirus Emergency

After a first moment in which US President Donald Trump seemed to have taken the path of denial, a few days ago the United States also launched drastic measures to combat the spread of the Coronavirus, very similar to those of Italy: closed shops, restaurants, bars, except those of basic necessity, the request to stay at home and avoid all contact. And the economic effects are already being felt, with stock exchanges collapsing and entrepreneurs and workers asking for help. In the catering sector, however, it seems that they have found a “bottom-up” way of helping the sector to get back on its feet once the emergency is over: the “dining bonds”.
The operation is simple: these are lunch and dinner vouchers that function as savings bonds, to be redeemed when the businesses can reopen, with a premium for the subscriber (i.e. the future customer) of 25% compared to the real value at the time of purchase. For example, the dining bond is sold by the caterer at a real value of $75 and redeemed for $100 generally 30-60 days after purchase. The goal is to provide operators with the liquidity they need to move forward in the mandatory lock-out and help ensure the survival of the restaurants, many of which are family-run.
It was promoted by the public relations sector that joined forces to create a campaign called “dining bonds”, with a dedicated website, www.supportrestaurants.org, which allows you to buy the voucher directly by connecting to the restaurant, putting the business and customer in direct contact. “It evokes, not surprisingly, a savings bond issued in wartime, which is what the industry is feeling right now. Customers are investing in the future”, explained Helen Patrikis of HR-PR, co-founder of the initiative with Steven Hall, president of Hall PR.
The program has been running since March 16 and has already seen the participation of dozens of businesses across the US. An initiative, in short, halfway between finance and gastronomy, from which, perhaps, the Italian catering sector could also take its cue.

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