Supporting Women-Owned Restaurants Hurt by the Pandemic

To commemorate International Women’s Day, Kering Americas has announced a donation to the James Beard Foundation to support women-owned restaurants that have been impacted by the pandemic.

According to a National Bureau of Economic Research report, restaurants owned by women have been disproportionately impacted by the economic realities of the pandemic.

Permanent closure rates have been rising since September 2020 and a nationwide survey conducted by the National Restaurant Association in December 2020 found that 17 percent of restaurants (approximately 110,000 establishments) closed due to the pandemic in the United States. An unprecedented 25 percent drop in the number of women business owners (measured from February to April of 2020) could hurt gender equality in the business world and beyond, the National Bureau of Economic Research reports.

A United States Bureau of Labor Statistics study in 2020 found that only 22 percent of head chefs in the country are female.

“We have all witnessed the severe impact of the pandemic on our restaurant culture. These businesses contribute to the heart and soul of our cities and communities, and now more than ever need our support. The fashion and food industry have a symbiotic connection and  strengthen each other to foster inspiration and creativity. We are proud to support the James Beard Foundation, an organization that empowers female culinary talent and champions gender equity,” said Laurent Claquin, President of Kering Americas.

To support these businesses that, for many, are essential to communities across the country, Kering’s donation will fund the James Beard Foundation’s Open for Good campaign, which not only provides economic relief to restaurant-owners in need but seeks to create a more equitable and sustainable industry post-pandemic.

“The James Beard Foundation is grateful for Kering Americas’ generous donation to our Open for Good campaign,” said Clare Reichenbach, CEO of the James Beard Foundation. “With their support, the Foundation continues to provide critical resources to help independent restaurants survive this crisis, build the capacity to return stronger, and thrive for the long term.”

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