David Chang makes an ominous prediction for the restaurant industry, Airbnb launches relief package for its hosts, and the Getty museum in Los Angeles cleanses the timeline. All this and more in this week’s Five on Friday.
David Chang makes an ominous prediction
Culinary icon and chef David Chang spoke with The New York Times last week about the state of the service industry and how he believes it may fare moving forward in a post-Coronavirus world. “I’m not being hyperbolic in any way,” Chang tells the Times. “Without government intervention, there will be no service industry.”
With the worst-case scenario a real possibility, Chang proposes a greater emphasis on bailing out real estate owners to help restaurants stay afloat. Moreover, Chang calls for amnesty for accounts payable and other bills as a means of support for restaurant teams as well as a universal basic income of up to $1,000 per month for hospitality workers in addition to healthcare assurance.
Airbnb corrects course with relief package
Airbnb cofounder and CEO Brian Chesky has announced plans to launch a $160 million relief package for Airbnb hosts. In a press release published Monday, March 30th, the company detailed plans to put forth $250 million to partially cover Coronavirus-related cancellations previously scheduled from March 14th through May 31st. Each host will receive 25 percent of funding normally included in cancellation policies. A $10 million Superhost Relief Fund has also been created and is available to superhosts via a grant application.
The announcement arrives following the company’s original motion to refund guest reservations exclusively, Skift reports. Chesky explained in the press release that the initial refund plan for guests occurred in an effort to protect public health.
AHLA president and CEO on the state of the industry
Following a harrowing month for the hospitality industry, Chip Rogers, the president and CEO of the American Hotel & Lodging Association (AHLA), joined Hospitality Design‘s editor in chief Stacy Shoemaker Rauen on our “What I’ve Learned” podcast for a candid conversation about the state of the industry and its forecast amid a pandemic. In the episode, Rogers unpacks the benefits of the $2 trillion stimulus relief package—what he refers to as a preservation package—and reveals why there may be light at the end of the tunnel.
And, tune in at 3:30 p.m. EST to our Instagram (@hospitalitydesign) page as Shoemaker Rauen goes live with Virgin CEO Raul Leal (@virginhotelier) to learn more about the hotelier’s response to COVID-19 and what he’s doing to manage the crisis.
New travel platform launches to assist travel and hospitality industries
Travel industry expert Amy Ogden has partnered with fellow hospitality aficionado Wade Breitzke to launch the new We Travel Forward campaign. The newly introduced platform serves as an online directory of hotel gift cards and experiences that guests can purchase now to redeem later, reports Lodging magazine. Hotels can list links to gift cards, special offers, and landing pages on the open-source directory, allowing consumers to link to the hotels’ own websites and booking platforms. “Simply put, we love hotels and travel,” Breitzke told the magazine. “We can’t imagine our lives or our businesses without them, and we wanted to do this as a goodwill project to support the industry we love so much. We have one singular goal, which is to promote We Travel Forward to the public and encourage them to support hotels today.”
The Getty Museum gets creative online
While museums have shuttered during the COVID-19 pandemic, some, like the Getty in Los Angeles are getting creative. The museum is challenging people to recreate their favorite artworks while sheltering at home, writes Yahoo Lifestyle. The initiative, which started as a way to keep the community engaged, asks people to turn themselves into subjects and everyday household items into props. Since proposing the challenge, the museum’s Twitter feed is a salve in dark times, and will certainly cleanse the timeline. “Our audience told us loud and clear that they wanted to see beautiful artworks, learn more about art from home, and find delight on social media,” Sarah Waldorf, the museum’s social media lead, told the website. “We wanted to offer up a creative challenge to find refuge from the uncertain state of the world and to spark excitement to get creative—no extra materials required.”