During the COVID-19 Pandemic, we have pressed pause on our scholarship program to support the hospitality community in crisis. In 2020, we donated more than $80,000 to our hospitality industry, and funneled more than $24,000 worth of business to Austin restaurants.
The hospitality industry has been brutalized by the pandemic. According to Southern Smoke, 15 million Americans were employed by more than one million restaurants in the United States at the start of 2020. The restaurant industry is the 2nd largest employer in the country and one of the largest employers of veterans, single parents, students, immigrants and the recently unemployed. Predictions estimate than more than 75% of the restaurants in this country will not survive.