Washington, D.C. March 20, 2020 Members of the American Pizza Community (APC), which represents owners and operators of the nation’s largest pizza brands, stand united in their continued effort to bring pizza to families and communities everywhere during the COVID-19 global pandemic.
“Pizza is a shared meal and a staple in our families, schools, celebratory gatherings and communities, and delivery and carry-out options have been at the forefront of the pizza industry for years,” said Tim McIntyre, chair of the APC, and EVP of Communications and Investor Relations at Domino’s. “We are urgently working with Congress and the Administration to ensure our store owners can continue operating right now which means keeping our doors open, employees at work and feeding communities.”
As restaurants across the nation are dealing with government-mandated measures to restrict dining capacities or operate as carry-out, take-out or delivery only, the economic crisis will impact employees, workers, operators, owners, suppliers, and vendors all across the food service sector for months to come. Many restaurants will be forced to close permanently, and most have already laid off hourly workers. According to early forecasts, the restaurant industry stands to lose $225 million dollars and five to seven million jobs. With more than 77,000 pizza stores nationwide, the pizza industry alone employs over 1 million people.
On Wednesday, Congress passed the first of several pieces of legislation to bring economic relief to American workers and families. “The Families First Coronavirus Response Act” will provide free testing, increased unemployment insurance benefits, and two weeks paid medical, sick and family leave to certain workers. However, all pizza stores operate on low margins and reduced cashflow, are ill-suited for advanced payment of sick leave and family leave and many pizza franchisees with an employee count above the 500-person threshold will not qualify for the government refund or tax credit.
The next phase of economic stimulus legislation being discussed is intended to help other impacted industries including restaurants. Proposals outlined from the Administration suggest $50 billion to aid the airline industry, $150 billion for other distressed sectors of the economy, two rounds of direct payments of $250 billion each on April 6 and May 18, and the creation of a small business interruption loan program.
APC and its members are working with other trade groups representing the restaurant, franchising and retail communities to advocate for an economic stimulus package that provides direct financial relief to help cover business operations and pay employees; loans or federally-backed business interruption insurance to help sustain businesses and their employees over an anticipated long-term recovery; and, tax measures to stimulate activity.
Pizza stores, like any restaurant, operate on low margins, tight cash flow and a workforce that depends on “being open” for their livelihood. Without swift measures from the federal government, many restaurants that are a staple of local communities will simply never resume service.
The American Pizza Community is a coalition of the nation’s large and small pizza companies, operators, franchisees, vendors, suppliers and other entities that make up the American pizza industry. The coalition was formed in 2010 to advocate for policies affecting pizza companies and operators including menu and labeling information, fair wages, work opportunity tax credit, background checks, tax policies and small business access to capital.
Current members include Domino’s Pizza, Figaro’s Italian Pizza, Godfather’s Pizza, Hungry Howie’s, Hunt Brothers Pizza, the International Pizza Hut Franchise Holders Association, Little Caesars, Nick-N-Willy’s, Papa John’s Pizza, Pizza Factory and Pizza Schmizza. Supplier partners include Coca-Cola, Leprino Foods Company, Middleby Marshall, Paradise Tomato Kitchens, PepsiCo and Tyson Foods.