As the COVID-19 outbreak in Oregon continues to impact the local restaurant market, stories are popping up across the city, from food cart owners giving away free meals to chefs starting Instagram cooking classes. In this new version of AM Intel, we dive into different ways the state’s food service industry has been responding to the global pandemic. For more COVID-19 stories, check out our larger story stream.
RENT ON HOLD — Kevin Cavenaugh, the landlord of Northeast Portland food hall the Zipper and a developer for Portland’s Guerrilla Development, gave 32 restaurants and retailers a rent freeze for April, meaning they did not have to pay this month. Other tenants were asked to “pay what they can.” He will continue the rent freeze into the coming months, as many restaurant owners fight to stay open during the restaurant shutdown. The full story, covered by OPB, is worth a read. [OPB]
BURGERVILLE LAYOFFS — Pacific Northwestern fast-food chain Burgerville will lay off 612 workers, about 42 percent of its workforce. Last month, the company furloughed 68 percent of its staff. Employees who receive health insurance will continue to be covered until May 31. Burgerville is known as one of the only fast food chains with a federally recognized union. [Columbian]
NEW SEASONS, NEW MASKS — Starting April 29, all customers must wear a face covering of some kind when entering a New Seasons, the company announced today. This rule applies to any human inside a New Seasons: employees, vendors, and distributors will also need some sort of face mask to enter. The supermarket chain will offer cloth masks at the door for those who forget in the first few days. [Oregonian]
FIGHT FOR WOODSTOCK — The Woodstock Farmers Market has launched a GoFundMe to help the market survive as it prepares for its June 7 opening. The market’s GoFundMe says that, because of social distancing requirements, the WFM will have to cut down on the number of vendors at the market, which means fewer stall fees from vendors. [Oregonian]