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Our Mission

The Independent Restaurant Coalition (IRC) was formed to save the local restaurants affected by COVID-19. IRC was founded on the simple belief that there is power to affect legislative change if we unite our voice.

This national movement is quickly growing and EVERYONE is welcome to join. Together, we represent 500,000 small businesses across this country, playing a key role in the $1 trillion restaurant industry, which represents up to 4% of the nation's GDP.

For the 11 million people across the country employed by independent restaurants — and the millions of workers up and down the food supply and delivery chain who depend on our restaurants — these small businesses cannot fail.

What's At Stake

Local, independent restaurants are the backbone of our communities, tourism, and redevelopment in every corner of the U.S. We directly employ over 11 million people across the country, and indirectly employ millions of workers up and down the food supply and delivery chain — from growers, packers, fisherman, linen services, delivery people and more — who depend on the continued revenue of restaurants to stay in business.

We contribute to the $1 trillion restaurant economy, which represents 4% of our GDP. With the COVID-19 pandemic, we are closed for business. As of today, up to six million food and beverage workers have been laid off, and millions of our suppliers will have their bills go unpaid, creating an unprecedented trickle down effect of economic damage to local restaurants and the small businesses that rely on them. We are the lifeblood of our economy and our communities, and we need help.

Independent restaurants are small businesses. But, unlike many other small businesses, our cash flow is completely dependent on current business. The bills from 45 days ago are paid with revenue earned today. If there is no revenue, those bills go unpaid. Independent restaurants estimate that there needs to be a minimum of $120 billion cash flow just to pay our current bills, rent, and taxes — and that’s before we pay our employees, who are the front line of service in this hospitality industry and the backbone to the local economies our businesses sustain.

In the financial meltdown of 2008, the federal government bailed out institutions that were “too big to fail” while paying too little attention to the workers who needed help the most. Today, in the case of independent restaurants, “we are too small to fail.” 

Providing economic assistance for the independent restaurant industry is one of the most critical investments to bring our economy back, and the most visible step to give all Americans confidence that we will all come out of this. We are uniquely positioned for quick, efficient distribution of funds to millions of workers up and down the food supply and delivery chain and can play a critical role in the swift administration of the federal government’s relief efforts during COVID-19.

About the Independent Restaurant Coalition

The Independent Restaurant Coalition was formed by chefs and independent restaurant owners across the country who have built a grassroots movement to secure vital protections for the nation’s 500,000 independent restaurants and the more than 11 million restaurant workers impacted by the coronavirus pandemic. The Coalition’s leadership team includes José Andrés, Naomi Pomeroy, Kevin Boehm, Nina Compton, Andrew Carmellini, Ashley Christensen, Tom Colicchio, Rosa Garcia, Sean Brock, Suzanne Goin, Will Guidara, Camilla Marcus, Mason Hereford, Ivy Mix, Mike Lata, Sam Kass, Kwame Onwuachi, Patrick Phelan, Amanda Cohen, Steven Satterfield, Jill Tyler, Michael Shemtov, Nancy Silverton, Gregory Gourdet, Frank Stitt, Bobby Stuckey, Caroline Styne, and Andrew Zimmern.

+ hundreds of other chefs and restaurateurs around the country, including:  

Jody Adams, Tyler Akin, Akira Akuto, Kimberly Alter, Kristel Arabian, Greg Baxtrom, Rick Bayless, Sue Bette, Neal  Bodenheimer, Katie Button, Sean Feeney, Kevin Fink, Mark Frier, Caroline Glover Kaitlyn Goalen, Kate Greenberg, Jason Hammel, Josh Harris, Brian Jacobs, Brandon Jew, Max Katzenberg, Thomas Keller, Joan Kim, Nick Kokonas, Katie Lazor, Donnie Madia, Neal McCarthy, Tory Miller, Carrie Morey, Elliot Nelson, Steve Palmer, Erika Polmar, Sarah Robbins, Harry Root, Andrew Rutledge, Greg Ryan, Marcus Samuelsson, Adam Saper, Alex Saper, John Schumacher, Tara Smith, Robert St. John, John Stubbs, Rico Torres, Lindsay Tusk, Nick Wasicek, Ari Weinzweig, Ellen Yin, and Kimberly Zerkel.

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