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During the Pandemic, Beatstro struggled to resume operations. Management decided to adapt their business plan and enact a system to eliminate food waste and provide meals to community members.
At their peak, Beatstro was providing 10,200 meals a week to community members and first responders. Management adjusted operations to utilize their workforce for deliveries because dining in wasn't an option during the lockdown. The sale of food was also hindered during the pandemic; this led to Beatstro giving away food to prevent food waste.
"Food is tricky when it comes to tackling waste prevention. Insurance interferes with excess food being given away due to the (health) liability risk it can have on the restaurant." -Alfredo Angueira
"Beatstro has tried to substitute plastic straws with biodegradable agave straws (softened in liquid), but they were too expensive. Management advocates eco-friendly solutions in the food industry. However, high prices and thin margins interfere with trying to be sustainable and eco-friendly." -Mr. Angueira
The pandemic caused a lot of businesses to collapse, and Beatstro management reported being 48 hours from shutting down, which inspired the food delivery program. Beatstro management observed losses of $8,000/ day during the pandemic. At this time, margins were ignored, and the objective was to keep staff employed and find people to feed with food that would eventually spoil. This difficult situation inspired the food delivery program.
"Beatstro considered the needs of the day-to-day business in terms of profit and loss but also what is good for Beatstro's community and their partners." -Mr. Angueira
"We believe whatever we give to the community comes back tenfold; during the pandemic, we were in a situation where we were 48 hours away from closing our doors, and we decided to focus on utilizing our inventory before it goes to waste. Everything in the cool boxes was cooked and given to first responders. This led to a Go-Fund-me that brewed a lot of media attention and got us a partnership with World Central Kitchen. This partnership helped make the 10,280 meals per week possible. So while other businesses are shutting down, Beatstro was receiving funding for continuing to provide aid and in the process, the business stayed afloat."
Beatstro was providing free meals to first responders at the peak of the pandemic, this included the local 40th police precinct, on Alexander Ave, BX. On social media, Beatstro advertised a free meal to all first responders with employee ID. The NGO World Central Kitchen recognized Beatstro and collaborated with the restaurant to produce more meals and feed the general public. With funding from WCK, Beatstro was able to expand its workforce and operations.
Located in the Bronx, NYC, Beatstro was strengthened by its community’s support and industry partners like the World Central Kitchen, to feed Americans during the COVID-19 2020 pandemic. The World Central Kitchen made the logistics challenge of feeding a large number of people possible (10,200 meals a week to food centers + first-responder workplaces). “Do you know what up to 11,000 meals a week looks like? We used a 22FT tractor-trailer to keep meals cold. We rented out a separate facility to prepare food which we ultimately purchased.” Explained Mr. Angueira.
The New York community is strong and Beatstro management credits its workforce and all its supporters. Mr. Angueria expresses he feels pride when he runs into a volunteer or a former employee who was a part of the meal program, or sometimes a random person thanks to him because their family relied on the gratuitous food. “We all went through the pandemic together, I am proud to have contributed as a vital part of the community through our efforts at Beatstro.”
Beatstro’s collaboration and adaptation during the pandemic allowed for additional streams of revenue to come in when the company was facing a daily deficit. Since then, Beatstro is more popular than ever and they continue to cooperate with NGOs to give back.
A small company that survived and helped its community throughout the pandemic distinguishes itself from the competition. Solving social issues on the path to success creates multiple revenue avenues. Mr. Angueira works to manage Beatstro, Bricks & Hops Beer Garden, and The Bronx Drafthouse; since cooperating with the World Central Kitchen, Beatstro management is engaged in the nonprofit center. Beatstro’s transformation led to a new side of the business that focuses on nonprofit work (feeding the public).
Businesses should go beyond doing what is morally right and aim to enhance the quality of life. By solving social problems, aspiring businesses seeking public support could be met with funding. Businesses should be accountable for addressing societal issues, particularly those that have a direct influence on their client base. In this scenario, the restaurant Beatstro was able to thrive despite a difficult economic period because it was able to keep its employees employed, hire people during the epidemic, and feed those in need. Beatstro's efforts resulted in collaborations and widespread community support.
Alfredo Angueira, Owner
Beatstro specializes in bringing back the Bronx's Golden Age of Hip Hop. The food reflects the culture of the Bronx and the artistry that came from it. In addition, the food reflects the two cultures that inspired Hip Hop: African and Puerto Rican.