April 14, 2020

April 14, 2020
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Thanks to Erik Schmitt of studio1500sf for creating the On the Fly logo for me!

Launching today (April 14th, 2020), is On the Fly by tablehopper, an almost-daily interview addressing the monumental changes the F&B industry is experiencing in this age of the coronavirus pandemic. On the Fly is hosted by yours truly, speaking with San Francisco Bay Area chefs, restaurateurs, and other members of the hospitality industry—from the big names to the tiny neighborhood joints—as they fight to survive.

The impact of the coronavirus on the hospitality ecosystem is far-reaching and utterly devastating—businesses are doing everything they can to stay afloat, help support their teams and suppliers, and fight to keep a light on. On the Fly will share their stories: how are they pivoting, what’s working, what needs to change, what’s next, and how the public can help. There will also be inspiring stories of how the industry is rallying to feed many communities in need through various initiatives. You can listen to the preview episode for more.

Our first guest is Laurence Jossel, executive chef/co-owner of Nopa, who has one of the biggest hearts in our local restaurant scene. He talks about the adaptations and adjustments he’s making to keep operating right now, from how they structured Nopa’s takeout model to their involvement with the SF New Deal initiative (and he shares the secret to his masterful fried chicken—you really need to bring some home).

The second episode is with Laurie Thomas, executive director of the Golden Gate Restaurant Association, and a San Francisco restaurateur behind Rose’s Cafe and Terzo. The hot topic of our discussion is the temporary 15 percent cap Mayor London Breed just placed on the often-excessive commission fees charged by third-party delivery apps, which can reach up to 30 percent or more. We discuss the Mayor’s decision to help support San Francisco restaurants with this order, talk about some of the confusion surrounding the use and terms of these delivery apps, and Laurie shares additional thoughts about the massive challenges our restaurants are currently facing.

Each episode of On the Fly includes a quick feature called the “Two-Top,” highlighting two things listeners should know about, like a can’t-miss takeout special, which restaurants are feeding their fellow industry workers, or an initiative to support. Details on anything mentioned in the segment will be listed in the episode notes.

On the Fly’s name is inspired by kitchen slang for when a dish was forgotten or is a last-minute addition or change, and the kitchen needs to drop everything to push it through quickly and get it done, pronto.

On the Fly doesn’t have a set schedule, but will be posted almost-daily for now, maybe every other day. We’re gonna crank these out as fast as we can. Tremendous thanks to Lola Yen, my volunteer producer, who has been my right-hand woman on this project. The podcast is hosted here, and you can subscribe to the RSS or in Spotify for now. On the Fly should hopefully be listed in Apple Podcasts soon (I’m just waiting for it to get approved) and will be added to other services ASAP.

Any Bay Area F&B businesses or individuals or initiatives who are doing something innovative or charitable and want to be featured on the podcast—or know of a story that needs to be told—can fill out the form at bit.ly/ontheflyguest for consideration. (Please please please don’t email me personally, I can barely manage my inbox right now, thank you.) We won’t be able to feature GoFundMe fundraisers for individuals/businesses (sadly there are just too many), just initiatives. Stay strong.

It would help a bunch if you can share On the Fly with your friends and networks and communities. My fellow journalists, I’d really appreciate any coverage you can offer! Thanks for tuning in.

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