COVID19

Racism targets Asian food, business during COVID-19 pandemic

As the coronavirus spread throughout the U.S., bigotry toward Asian Americans was not far behind, fueled by the news that COVID-19 first appeared in China.

Some initial evidence suggested the virus began in bats, which infected another animal that may have spread it to people at one of Wuhan, China’s “wet markets.” Such markets sell fresh meat, fish and vegetables, and some also sell live animals, such as chickens, that are butchered on site to ensure freshness for consumers.

The information quickly got distorted in the U.S., spurring racist memes on social media that portrayed Chinese people as bat eaters responsible for spreading the virus, and reviving century-old tropes about Asian food being dirty. Fueling the fire, President Donald Trump repeatedly referred to COVID-19 as “the China virus.”

“That old-school rhetoric that we eat bats, dogs and rats — that racism is still alive and well,” said Clarence Kwan, creator

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Eagle Rock restaurant Chifa opens amid L.A. COVID-19 spike

Humberto Leon, cofounder of the cult fashion brand Opening Ceremony, has opened an Eagle Rock restaurant with his family — yes in the middle of a pandemic — that pairs the family’s take on Chinese and Peruvian cuisine with his stylistic flair and love of collaboration.

The result? A jewel box of a space that aims to fill your belly, capture your heart and delight your eyes even if, at least for now, that means peering through a heart-shaped window when you stop by to pick up your takeout order.

Chifa (the Peruvian word for a Chinese restaurant) is a reboot and reimagining — 45 years later — of the restaurant Leon’s mother, Wendy Leon, opened in Lima, Peru, before the family immigrated to the U.S. and settled in Eagle Rock.

Wendy has long been part of her son’s fashion-focused world, cooking for Opening Ceremony events and appearing in an

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Yum China CEO Joey Wat on COVID-19 Lessons

(Miss this week’s The Leadership Brief? This interview below was delivered to the inbox of Leadership Brief subscribers on Sunday morning, Dec. 6; to receive weekly emails of conversations with the world’s top CEOs and business decisionmakers, click here.)

On Nov. 23, CNN reported that the U.S. had 3 million new cases of COVID-19 in November. That same day, I interviewed Joey Wat, the CEO of Yum China, the country’s largest restaurant company. She mentioned that there were just a small handful of new cases in Shanghai, the world’s biggest city, with a population of over 25 million. Nearly 100% (99.5%) of Yum’s outlets in China are currently open.

Under Wat, 49, Yum China has emerged from COVID largely unscathed and cemented its reputation as one of the world’s most nimble fast-food companies. Yum China operates over 10,000 restaurants in 1,400 cities in China, a mixture of Pizza

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Outdoor dining, heat lamps: Restaurants survive COVID-19

Tamara Holmes, Special to USA TODAY
Published 5:00 a.m. ET Oct. 5, 2020 | Updated 10:27 a.m. ET Oct. 5, 2020

In a year when thousands of restaurants have closed and many more are struggling to hang on, Bar Bombón in Philadelphia currently is enjoying sales 5% to 10% above last year’s levels. 

It’s a far cry from March when the mayor said all restaurants had to close to slow the spread of COVID-19.

“It was like a gauntlet came down,” says Bar Bombón owner Nicole Marquis recalling the announcement. Her full-service vegan restaurant offers plant-based Latin American favorites such as tacos and empanadas.

With Bar Bombón restricted to takeout and delivery orders, sales fell by the end of March to 10% of normal revenue levels. Yet, remarkably the restaurant is currently exceeding last year’s revenue, despite the fact that indoor dining just began in Philadelphia at 25% capacity in

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