Project 2021, part 20: Local restaurant owner creates network to help restaurants survive pandemic

Project 2021

Algenon Cash is tired of waiting, and he’s tired of studying the problems. He knows that the problems are. Now he wants to get something done.

“I’m the president of Triad Food & Beverage Coalition, which is hosting this Black Empowerment breakfast today,” Algenon said while standing in front of a group of people at the event that kicked off his Black Empowerment Network.

“Which is basically a policy research group I’m pulling together to look at issues that are impacting minority individuals, families, minority leaders. Not only are we researching these issues and identifying what’s happening in these communities, we’re also trying to get policy done,” Algenon said. “Our message is that in order to get big things done, we’re going to have to work together. And that means we’re going to have to work together not only across political lines – Republican, Democrat – but we’re also going to have white and Black and brown and everyone working together to get something done.”

More than 3,000 people of all backgrounds have joined the network, and he says that’s how real change is made.

“At the end of the day, the most powerful thing on the planet is relationships and being able to pick up the phone and call somebody, actually work with them on something and get something done,” Algenon said.

And he’s confident that we’re beginning to emerge from the pandemic.

“People are just ready to reengage,” he said.

But things won’t be the same.

“I think owners really have to embrace the changes that are coming. Otherwise, you’re going to be swept away by them,” he said.

And by “owners” Algenon means people in the food and beverage industry. The pandemic has accelerated the delivery model – food deliveries are up 150% just during the pandemic – and Algenon says that is the future.

Many restaurants will never build a dining room, relying on delivery as their only method to get food to customers. They don’t even need to advertise because customers find them simply by logging on to their favorite delivery app like Door Dash, Grub Hub or Uber Eats.

“Four out of every ten people who hit that platform have no idea what they’re going to order,” Algenon said.

See some of the pandemic survival stories in this Project 2021 report.

Click here for part 20 of Project 2021
Click here for part 19 of Project 2021
Click here for part 18 of Project 2021
Click here for part 17 of Project 2021
Click here for part 16 of Project 2021
Click here for part 15 of Project 2021
Click here for part 14 of Project 2021

Click here for part 13 of Project 2021
Click here for part 12 of Project 2021
Click here for part 11 of Project 2021
Click here for part 10 of Project 2021
Click here for part nine of Project 2021
Click here for part eight of Project 2021
Click here for part seven of Project 2021
Click here for part six of Project 2021

Click here for part five of Project 2021
Click here for part four of Project 2021
Click here for part three of Project 2021
Click here for part two of Project 2021

Click here for part one of Project 2021

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