Sysco pushes for more restaurant relief in 2021


By Sam Danley, Meat+Poultry



HOUSTON — Sysco Corp. is making it easier for restaurants to rebuild following a tumultuous year that shuttered thousands of independent operators and left millions of foodservice workers without a job.


More than 17% of US restaurants closed permanently or long term in 2020, according to the National Restaurant Association. Sysco has worked with the organization to lobby for restaurant relief and guide operators through the process of applying for aid.


“We were the first to offer educational webinars to our independent customers on how they can access the funds available to them via the PPP programs, and the only distributor to lobby on behalf of our customers for that support,” said Neil Russell, senior vice president of corporate affairs and chief communications officer at Sysco, during a Feb. 16 presentation at the Consumer Analyst Group of New York virtual meeting. “Those efforts continue today with bipartisan efforts to move the RESTAURANTS Act forward, with additional grants to restaurants, allowing them to not only pay their employees but fund their operations by purchasing food and supplies from their distributor.”


With vaccines being distributed across the country and local restrictions on restaurants easing or lifting, Sysco is gearing up for recovery in 2021 and beyond. The company expects its US business will recover quicker than its international business...