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Pat Cobe
C&S WHOLESALE GROCERS HIRES SYSCO EMPLOYEES

Foodservice broadline distributor Sysco is deploying some of its employees to C&S Wholesale Grocers, a company that supplies supermarkets. To meet the increase in retail demand, C&S was in need of more labor, so the supplier partnered with Sysco to provide temporary work opportunities for some of Sysco’s furloughed warehouse and delivery associates. The workers are placed in similar job functions while foodservice demand is temporarily lower.

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Heather Lalley
PANERA ROLLS OUT A GROCERY OPERATON
Like many operators have done during the COVID-19 crisis, Panera Bread announced today that it will start selling groceries.
Customers can now order "high-demand pantry items" like milk, bread and produce with their Panera orders for delivery, pickup, drive-thru or curbside pickup. 
Find more information on Panera Grocery here. 
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Jonathan Maze

ONE OPTION FOR PPP LOANS? WAIT

We wrote about Payment Protection Program loans and some of the frustration operators are feeling as they've rushed for the federal assistance program.
One question for a number of operators, however, is whether they should reopen only to close a few weeks later when the money runs out. 
One option some are recommending is to not take the money after approval until restaurants are close to getting their customers back. That way, employees can collect unemployment and won't be working doing nothing. And restaurants will know they'll have customers earlier on. 
Either way, bankers suggest operators talk with their accountants first. 
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Heather Lalley
CHIPOTLE STARTS E-GIFT CARD PROGRAM FOR HEALTHCARE WORKERS
Chipotle Mexican Grill today launched a program to donate 10% of its online gift card sales to an organization that provides personal protective equipment for healthcare workers. 
The Healthcare Heroes gift card program runs through May 31. 
More information is available here. 
Last week, the fast-casual chain announced it would give away 100,000 burritos to healthcare workers around the country. 
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Heather Lalley
POTBELLY SELLS INDIVIDUAL SANDWICH INGREDIENTS
The Chicago-based sandwich chain has launched Potbelly Pantry, offering individual portions of sandwich meats, as well as bulk cheeses, breads, hot peppers and more. Read our full story here. 
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Heather Lalley
SALES CONTINUE TO CLIMB AT WINGSTOP
Despite the coronavirus pandemic, Wingstop's same-store sales continue to grow. The chain was well-positioned to pivot to off-premise operations before the virus hit the U.S. Here's our full story
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Peter Romeo
TGI FRIDAY'S ACQUISITION IS CALLED OFF
"Extraordinary market conditions" have in part prompted the investment company looking to buy TGI Friday's to call off the $380 million deal. The merger with Allegro Merger Corp., announced in November, would have made Friday's a public company again. The full story can be found here.  
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Peter Romeo
BOSTON RESTAURANT WORKERS TO MASK UP
Restaurant workers in Boston will be required to don face masks as soon as they leave their homes under new efforts announced Sunday by Mayor Martin Walsh to slow the spread of coronavirus.  

Among those additional precautions is a recommended curfew of 9 p.m. to 6 a.m. daily. A stated purpose of the nonbinding curfew is curbing extraneous trips to restaurants, an apparent reference to consumers going out for ice cream or indulgences. Residents are encouraged to use delivery instead after 9 p.m.

All residents will be required to wear face masks any time they are outside of their homes. The directive specifies that the protective gear is required of essential workers, a classification that includes the employees of restaurants offering takeout and delivery. Dining rooms in the city have been shut down as a safety precaution. 
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Heather Lalley
ILLINOIS HOSPITALITY RELIEF FUND SWAMPED WITH APPLICATIONS
Small bars and restaurants in Illinois were supposed to have been notified by Saturday about whether they'd receive state grants. But the Hospitality Emergency Grant Program, a $14 million initiative, was slowed by an "extremely high volume of applications." They now expect to notify recipients on Tuesday. 
Eligible restaurants and bars will receive one-time grants of $25,000. 
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Heather Lalley
PANDEMIC PUTS TENSIONS BETWEEN RESTAURANTS AND THIRD-PARTY DELIVERY IN SPOTLIGHT
The stress of the coronavirus crisis has put tensions between restaurants and third-party delivery providers under a microscope. Read our full story here. 
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