A change to the terms of the Paycheck Protection Program that ensures businesses receiving the loans won't be penalized if laid-off employees refuse offers to return to work was this week's most read story among food and beverage readers. The National Restaurant Association described the Treasury Department's decision as a win for restaurants, since businesses that receive PPP loans will no longer have to pay back the portion of the loan that would have gone toward the salary of an employee who chose not to return.
Many restaurants announced plans this week to begin reopening with safety precautions in place to protect against the coronavirus. Chili's Grill & Bar detailed its reopening plans, which include reconfigured seating to allow for social distancing and menus that are either disposable or contained on a single page that is easy to wipe down.
Retailer Costco resumed normal hours of operation and issued a rule that all customers over the age of 2 must wear face masks while shopping in the store. A story about how Trader Joe's has weathered the pandemic and started to adjust to a new normal proved popular this week. Albertsons also made headlines with its announcement that it plans to go public this year.
In CPG news, candy company Mars got readers' attention with its patent for a chocolate product that doesn't melt when exposed to heat during transport but still softens upon eating.
Check out this week's full top 10 list:
- PPP recipients won't be penalized if workers don't return
- Denny's, Chick-fil-A add meal kits to the menu
- James Beard Foundation announces awards finalists
- Dining-in restrictions begin to lift across US
- Chili's maps out plan for reopening dining rooms
- Costco shoppers must wear masks; normal hours return
- Mars develops heat-resistant chocolate
- Pandemic could change consumer behavior for years
- Albertsons gets closer to going public
- Podcast: Trader Joe's on pandemic response, new normal
- How consumer behavior is forever changing the grocery, CPG industry
- Functional food and beverages persist during coronavirus
- Restaurants get creative with off-premises dining to create a sense of place
If you enjoyed this article, sign up for Consumer Brands SmartBrief or Restaurant SmartBrief to get news like this in your inbox, or check out all of SmartBrief’s food and travel newsletters as we offer more than 30 newsletters covering the food and travel industries from restaurants, food retail and food manufacturing to business travel, the airline and hotel industries and gaming.