Food + Culture

Supporting Local Eateries: The NBRHD Restaurant Development Program

Neighborhood innovation company REEF Technology has announced a $1 million restaurant development program to help local restaurants build their delivery business. The program begins in REEF’s hometown of Miami, with more U.S. and Canadian cities being added to the roster soon.

Each restaurant participating in the program is slated to receive:

  • A dedicated marketing campaign for their restaurant, valued at $10,000.
  • A partnership spot in REEF’s delivery kitchens platform, NBRHD Kitchens. This includes a full suite of services, including menu development, procurement, and culinary operations.
  • Access to creative and production resources, including professional food photography for delivery platforms.

Restaurants and the Pandemic

Restaurant owners interested in the NBRHD Restaurant Development Program are encouraged to apply at reeftechnology.com/apply

As Blueprint food and culture contributor Michael Bonadies has long documented, local restaurants are struggling to keep their doors open during the pandemic—a dire situation with severe ramifications for America’s job market.

“The independent taco stands, chef-owned restaurants, and dive bars in the country add up to 500,000 small businesses (many family owned) with 11 million employees.” Michael wrote in his first Blueprint contribution, “The Last Meal.”

“There are a further 5 million employees—farmers, butchers, truck drivers—who are part of this ecosystem on the verge of collapse.”

“Without intervention, America’s independent restaurants and bars face a mass extinction event.”

While organizations such as the Independent Restaurant Coalition provide a steady lobbying drumbeat, imploring the government for more federal aid, private companies such as REEF and DoorDash have been stepping up to the dinner plate to provide support.

NBRHD Restaurant Development Grant

The application phase of the NBRHD Restaurant Development Program closes on February 4, 2021.

The NBRHD Restaurant Development Program has opened to Miami-based restaurants with fewer than three locations. REEF is particularly encouraging applications from local, women-, and BIPOC-owned restaurants. However, this is not a mandatory criterion.

“Historically, restaurants run on extremely tight profit margins, and we recognize that local businesses struggle to access industry resources of this caliber,” REEF’s chief creative officer, Alan Philips, said.

“Our NBHRD Restaurant Development Program fills that gap and is engineered to help our beloved local brands adapt, sustainably grow their business, and reach new customers without upfront capital costs.

“We’re thrilled to continue to support the businesses who are the backbone and heart of our communities.”

Over the next few months, ten local restaurants will be selected to participate in the program by a panel of highly regarded local personalities in the culinary space. The panel includes James Beard Award–winning Miami chefs Michelle Bernstein and Michael Schwartz, and Kiko Suarez from Kiko Hospitality Group.

“I’ve personally loved working with REEF NBRHD Kitchens over the last year,” said Chef Michael Schwartz, owner of neighborhood bistro and brunch favorite Michael’s Genuine Food and Drink. “I have creative autonomy over my menus, and it’s an incredible way to scale thoughtfully. This program is great for the Miami restaurant community.”

Final recipients will be identified based on the strength of their culinary concept, potential for success on delivery platforms, community following, and personal story.

Miami restaurant owners can apply for the program now. Applications close on February 4, 2021.

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