Restaurant Chains Shamed into Returning Loans

Turns out, the public relations embarrassment is not worth the guaranteed payouts for pandemic losses.

By Nydia Fairbank | April 28, 2020

A growing number of national restaurant chains are lending millions of dollars to small businesses to combat this global epidemic.

The outbreak of COVID-19 shook the American economy, and certainly no industry was worse than the restaurant and foodservice business. The blocked policies have resulted in the closure of almost every restaurateur rent across the country, making local restaurants particularly unsafe.

To help, the federal government launched a $350 billion small business bailout in the form of a $350 billion loan program that would not start well: it was supposed to help the "little man." A lot of money went into the hands of bankers and corporate customers of their "big people".

Yes, national chains have also been hit hard, but many of them are owned and operated by listed companies. They have a high margin and have been in the bank for six months during the unpredictable hurricane season. The budget is the standard we are now considering.

Public relation is an insult to the “Goliath” restaurant chain, which has used the significant resources of small corner restaurants to return federal funds to these companies. Here are examples of large restaurant chains that are doing the right thing by repaying the loan they received.


Shake Shack

shake shack storefront

The national high-end burger chain was the first "poster child" of the advertising restaurant to receive $10 million through the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). However, Back Clash founder Danny Meyer and CEO Randy Garty announced on LinkedIn that they intend to return the money.

"Shake Shake was fortunate enough to use the extra capital needed to ensure our long-term stability through equity transactions in the public markets. We are grateful for that and immediately decided to take out a full RPS 10 million PPP loan record." Need more.

RELATED: The Best & Worst Menu Items at Shake Shack


Ruth's Chris Steak House


The national steakhouse series also received a lot of attention last week, some of which were on the floor of the House of Representatives, but it was not about the brand awareness the market wanted. The average 60-seat steak house that once hit the market in New Orleans is back $20 million from the stimulus package.


Nathan's Famous

Nathans famous hot dogs storefront
Holly Vegter/Shutterstock

Is Nathan's famous small business to save the government? According to the NYY Post, "Nathan's famous coronavirus companies have teamed up to pay off small business loans and get support from big companies." The Connie Island hot dog brand plans to repay a $1.8 million loan it received as part of a paycheck protection program to raise wages for traders on Main Street and eliminate other costs during the epidemic. To do. "

RELATED: What the Heck Is In Your Hot Dog?



Medium's contribution to the Healthy Salad and Serial Bowl series, published below: "Last week we were approved by the $10 million loan program. On the same day we found that the money was gone and so on. No money has been given to small businesses and industry friends who need it the most. No decision has been made. "

RELATED: The Best & Worst Menu Items at Sweetgreen


Kura Sushi

assorted sushi platter

The LA-based national sushi chain received a small business loan of $6 million which was repaid. The CEO wrote: "Today we decided to repay our PPP loan. It was a difficult decision because our employees are very important to us, but it is impossible to ignore the fact that our financial facilities give us financial difficulties in the long run. Ready. Weather." Allows independent restaurant owners tenure. We expect that this amount will be distributed equally among the candidates in question. '

RELATED: The Best and Worst Sushi Rolls for Weight Loss



potbelly sandwich shop
Ritu Manoj Jethani/Shutterstock

Potbelly announced last week that it plans to repay a $10 million loan from the Paycheck Small Business Security Program. The national sandwich chain received the maximum loan amount despite having a capitalization of Rs $71.2 million in the current market.

RELATED: These Are the Most Popular Sandwich Chains in America


J. Alexander's

J. alexanders restaurant
Courtesy of J. Alexander's

The parent company of the national restaurant chain received two loans for the $15.1 million Chen check program. Last week, however, he announced in a report to visiting exchange regulators in the United States that the entire amount would be withdrawn. Good for them, and the rest of the restaurant knows they have to do the right thing in these difficult times.

Eat Essentials, Not That! is constantly monitoring the latest food news as it relates to COVID-19 in order to keep you healthy, safe, and informed (and answer your most urgent questions). Here are the precautions you should be taking at the grocery store, the foods you should have on hand, the meal delivery services and restaurant chains offering takeout you need to know about, and ways you can help support those in need. We will continue to update these as new information develops.
Madison Peternell : if you have time, take a look at their menu so you're familiar with their offerings. They also have my favorite black vinegar and dipping sauces available, so it's a one stop shop!
Matthew Diggity : This site has really good ramen! Before COVID hit, the wait times were insane (~1.5 hours+). If you're reading this after indoor dining is allowed again, I don't think the wait time is worth it over an hour. If the line is under an hour, I would definitely recommend a visit!
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