5 Things: San Francisco coffee shop owner fires husband for racial slur, LEYE president comments on the future of restaurants

RJ Melman, president of Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises and son of co-founder Rich Melman, spoke about the future of the business on Nation’s Restaurant News’ Extra Serving podcast last week. The Chicago-based multiconcept operator manages over 150 restaurants across the country and has remained innovative throughout the epidemic by reviving now-closed businesses as virtual concepts.

While Melman said the business loved seeing which concepts piqued people’s attention, he believes the future of restaurants is in brick-and-mortar, and the firm is utilising virtual restaurants as a test bed for new menu items or to expand delivery range. In Florida, LEYE just built a brick-and-mortar establishment of Mediterranean restaurant Aba, the company’s first concept in the state.

Melman discusses the condition of the industry 15 months after the coronavirus epidemic began, as well as how it has impacted LEYE as the firm approaches its 50th anniversary.

Continue reading: Lettuce Entertain The future of restaurants, according to your president, is brick and mortar, not virtual.

A coffee shop owner dismisses his husband after he uses a racist slur at work.
Eileen Rinaldi, the owner of Ritual Coffee Roasters in San Francisco, removed her husband from a freelance construction job he was working on after he was heard using a racial epithet towards a Black guy outside the business last week.

The SF Chronicle reported on the event, which occurred in May. Rinaldi announced her husband’s termination on Ritual’s Instagram on June 8.

“Words have power, and the word he kept repeating is unquestionably racist and destructive. It conjures up images of hatred and dehumanisation for me. I’m thinking about the tremendous anguish, fury, and trauma this phrase has caused throughout history and at every instant a white person says it, and I’m heartbroken.”

“I’ve made errors and I’m learning,” she continued. I am dedicated to continuing to evolve our business and workplace to be an anti-racist, inclusive, and equitable place for our workers, customers, and community. And I’m okay with the fact that this project isn’t finished. Every month, year, and for the rest of the company’s existence, we must work on it.”

Employees at Ritual Coffee Roasters openly accused Rinaldi’s spouse of workplace difficulties, including inappropriate behaviour against customers of race, last year.

Read more: Ritual Coffee’s Owner Fired Her Husband for Using a Racial Slur at Work

VCR is a new restaurant group founded by Gary Vaynerchuk.
Entrepreneur and restaurateur Gary Vaynerchuk has joined together with David Rodolitz, founding partner of the Empellón Restaurant Group in New York City, and chef Josh Capon of Lure Restaurant to launch aa new restaurant group, VCR.

In an Instagram post announcing the company, Vaynerchuk said “We will create, develop, and operate thoughtful restaurant and hospitality concepts, culinary experiences, and other food products both in the physical and digital space.”

Read more • restaurant-hospitality.com

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