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One year of COVID — the restaurant industry is crushed by the pandemic

Here’s a timeline of what the country has endured

It has been an exhausting, stressful and tragic year since the novel coronavirus began to spread in the United States, resulting in thousands of restaurants closed, tens of thousands foodservice jobs lost and more than half a million Americans dead.

Through it all, operators have adjusted, adapted, and worked to help their struggling communities and find support for the team members that they could keep, as well as those they had to let go.

As dining rooms closed, and then opened again, and then closed back up, fine-dining restaurants shifted to selling burgers and breakfast sandwiches. Chains and independents alike started selling groceries. Chefs taught virtual cooking classes and beverage directors performed remote food-and-wine pairings. Operators started retailing their sauces and spices, shipping raw steaks nationwide, packing up meal kits for their customers to cook at home. All of that was in an effort to keep the lights on and pay as many staff members as they could.

In this gallery we look back at what the foodservice industry has endured.

Contact Bret Thorn at [email protected] 

Follow him on Twitter: @foodwriterdiary

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