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Stories from the front lines: Restaurant executives share their experiences with the coronavirus pandemic

First-hand accounts detail what it looks like to lead a business in times of crisis

When the COVID pandemic hit last March, restaurant operators faced unprecedented challenges, forced to adapt business models at the drop of a hat. Nation’s Restaurant News reached out to those in the industry to share their stories from the front lines.

At the time, and throughout the following months, we heard from executives about what they were seeing and how their teams were adapting in the face of a global crisis. Some shared passionate first-person essays in their own words. Others spoke with our editors, who relayed their stories. Still more joined us for our podcast, Extra Serving, or for video interviews.

Here we’ve compiled these human stories, covering everything from closing restaurants to building crisis management plans. We hear how operators protected and are protecting their workers and customers during a global health crisis. And from some, we hear about the intersection of the pandemic and last summer’s social-justice movement, and the impact it had on restaurants.

If you have a story you’d like to share, e-mail Holly Petre at [email protected].

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