File this under bar and restaurant support we’d like to see across the United States.
Florida International University’s Chaplin School of Hospitality & Tourism Management has partnered with South Beach Wine & Food Festival to help independently owned and operated bars and restaurants.
Founded in 1965, FIU is a research university and member of the State University System of Florida, which includes Florida State University and University of Florida. The Chaplin School of Hospitality & Tourism Management is among the top hospitality schools in the nation.
From 1997 to 2001, the South Beach Wine & Food Festival (SOBEWFF) was known as the Florida Extravaganza. In 2002, Lee Brian Schrager renamed the event and relocated it to South Beach. After forming a strategic partnership, it was renamed once again, now known as the Food Network & Cooking Channel South Beach Wine & Food Festival presented by Capital One.
The festival is produced by Florida International University and Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits, with the support of the Miami Beach Visitors & Convention Authority and the Miami-Dade County Department of Cultural Affairs, and all proceeds go to the Chaplin School of Hospitality & Tourism Management. To date, Chaplin School has received over $30 million.
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Now, the Chaplin School and SOBEWFF are giving back to the industry. The SOBEWFF & FIU Chaplin School of Hospitality Industry Relief Fund will serve independently owned and operated bars in Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties.
Bars and restaurants are eligible to receive grants of up to $15,000 if:
- they are independently owned and operated;
- located in one of the Florida counties mentioned above;
- they have had to close temporarily because of the COVID-19 pandemic;
- they have laid off workers due to the COVID-19 pandemic;
- they have experienced significant drops in business because of mandated closures.
The owners of the business must complete the grant application and the funds are intended to go to employees directly, with a maximum of $500 per employee. This relief is meant to support every member of bar and restaurant teams, from dishwashers to cooks.
The SOBEWFF & FIU Chaplin School of Hospitality Industry Relief Fund was launched with a donation of $500,000 from the Chaplin School. Founding partners, including Bacardí USA, Badia Spices, Luxco, Mast-Jägermeister US, Shaw-Ross International Importers and Voli 305 Vodka, also made donations. At the time of launch, the fund had $1 million available.
In addition to direct financial assistance, business owners will have access to Chaplin School resources such as a free one-year membership in their Food Entrepreneurs Educational Development (FEED) program. Annual FEED membership is normally $3,000.
We’d like to see more of this type of support for independent bar and restaurant operators throughout the industry and country. Some of the best hospitality industry education programs in the world are offered by universities in several states:
- Arizona (School of Hotel and Restaurant Management at Northern Arizona University)
- California (Collins College of Hospitality Management at California State Polytechnic University at Pomona)
- Colorado (Fritz Knoebel School of Hospitality Management at University of Denver)
- Georgia (Cecil B. Day School of Hospitality at Georgia State University)
- Indiana (The School of Hospitality & Tourism Management at Purdue University)
- Iowa (the hospitality management undergraduate program at Iowa State University)
- Massachusetts (The School of Hospitality Administration at Boston University)
- Michigan (The School of Hospitality Business at Michigan State University)
- Nevada (The Willian F. Harrah College of Hotel Administration at University of Nevada, Las Vegas)
- New Jersey (The International School of Hospitality and Tourism Management at Farleigh Dickinson University)
- New York (School of Hotel Administration at Cornell University)
- Oklahoma (School of Hotel & Restaurant Administration at Oklahoma State University)
- Pennsylvania (School of Hospitality Management at Pennsylvania State University)
- Texas (Hilton College at University of Houston College)
- Virginia (The Department of Hospitality and Tourism Management at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University)
- Washington (The School of Hospitality Management at Washington State University)
There are several others throughout the country. Many likely have industry partners that may be open to finding ways to support the people who hire their graduates.