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  • Writer's pictureAndrea Strong


Advocacy, Mental Health, #Run4Restaurants, and the ROAR Roundtable at the ACE Hotel (Strong Buzz Readers get in for FREE!)

Hi everyone!

It's been a beat. Hope all is well in your worlds. I've been loving my new role as Executive Director at ROAR (Restaurants Advocating Organizing Rebuilding, a nonprofit founded in March 2020 to advocate for an industry in crisis. Since the pandemic, we have given out over $3 million in cash grants to unemployed restaurants workers, created the first-ever mobile vaccine bus, which has vaccinated 50,000 New Yorkers, and been instrumental in securing PPP, the Restaurant Revitalization Fund, outdoor dining and to-go alcohol sales, and more.

One year in we are not slowing down.

We have drafted a transformative advocacy agenda for our industry—fighting for tip sharing between front and back of the house to reduce inequity, and pushing for a suite of tax credits and subsidies to support restaurants coming out of this crisis. We are also working to keep outdoor dining and push for a return to to-go alcohol sales. Finally, we are excited to be rolling out our health and wellness programming for restaurant workers beginning with our partnership with COA, the mental health gym. We are also working to provide financial planning services, acupuncture and massage, and childcare discounts. Our aim is to really give restaurants teams the support they need to thrive in this industry.

We also have some fun events coming up including a roundtable on Friday night exploring the role of hospitality on social impact and social justice at the gorgeous new ACE Hotel Brooklyn! All the details below! Hope to see you there.


On Friday October 8th, please join me in a conversation with leaders of the hospitality-driven social impact movement. The panel will shine a light on innovative nonprofit organizations and operators who are bringing community into the hospitality industry.

Panelists include Jeff Brosi of The Rockaway Hotel, Beatrice Stein, founder of the non profit The Hospitality Project, and Chris Means of By All Means Leadership Alliance in a conversation about how to reimagine hospitality, not just a place for brilliant food and wine, but as an industry creating sustainable change in communities and lives.

Tickets are $25 and 100% of proceeds go to ROAR. Guests also receive 20% off food and beverage at the lobby bar following the panel! Strong Buzz readers get in for free while supplies last. If you'd like to be my guest, just email me here. Of course donations to ROAR are welcome!


It’s no secret that the pandemic has been challenging for all of us — especially restaurant workers. We continue to have heart wrenching conversations on a daily basis with so many of the people who hold our industry up. This has been amongst the toughest times of our lives — and that’s why we cannot wait any longer to support the mental health of our colleagues, our friends and those we work with day in and day out.

Starting today, ROAR is partnering with Coa the gym for your mental health — to proactively offer mental health resources to restaurant workers at a larger and meaningful scale. Our hope is that these initiatives will improve our lives by giving us all the resources we need to feel better and emerge stronger.

Here’s how ROARxCoa is here to help:

  • Free Mental Health Q&A for Restaurant Workers Nationwide:

    • On October 13 at 11:30am ET, ROARxCoa will host a live, online Q&A with Sean Feeney of Grovehouse and Dr. Emily Anhalt on prioritizing mental health in the industry. Join us and share with your team’s, colleagues, and on socials.

  • 1,000 Free Intro to Emotional Fitness Classes: Also starting in October, NYC-based restaurant workers will be eligible for free Intro to Emotional Fitness Coa classes with Coa. ROAR will cover the full cost for the first 1,000 classes. Details to be announced on October 13th at the Q&A.

  • 8-Week Emotional Fitness for Restaurant Workers Series: We’re offering 300 subsidized spots for Coa’s NYC-focused 8-Week series. Details to be announced on October 13th at the Q&A.

Our partnership with Coa will be just the first of many initiatives we’ll be launching to support the health & wellbeing of the NY Restaurant Community.

Join us on October 13th for the Live Q&A on Mental Health & The Restaurant Industry


On November 7th, I will be joining TEAM ROAR, running the 50th TCS NYC Marathon, the first since the pandemic. Team ROAR, which is made up of a group of fierce and fabulous restaurant staffers and owners, will be hitting the streets of our magnificent city for 26.2 miles, raising money for our 501(c)(3) which will fund the ROAR Health and Wellness Project. This pioneering program will offer deeply discounted (or free) health care, mental health care, wellness, financial planning services, and much more to NYC restaurant staff.

To kick off the Marathon week, Ryan Higgins, one of our marathon runners and a captain at Llama San, has come up with the ROAR Marathon Cocktail Week, a fundraiser where restaurants in NYC will dedicate a portion of the sale of one cocktail (of your choice) to ROAR. Restaurants, it's easy to sign up to participate and donate! Diners, get ready to drink a lot the week of October 24th!

Here’s how it will work.

ROAR #Run4Restaurants Marathon Cocktail Week FAQ

When does the ROAR Marathon Week Take Place?

October 24th - October 31st

Is there a deadline to sign up?

You can sign up anytime before October 24th, but if you would like to be included in press materials, please sign up by October 11th so we can get the list of restaurants out to press in time for the week to begin!

How do I sign up?

It’s easy! Just fill out this Google Form!

How much per cocktail will get donated to ROAR?

$10 per cocktail

Do I have to make a specific cocktail?

No! You choose the cocktail from your list, or make one up! Just designate it on your menu so guests know that when they drink that cocktail they are supporting ROAR’s #run4restaurants and its Health and Wellness Program.

Once the week is over, where do I send my donation?

Donate online to our Robin Hood team page (Robin Hood is our marathon team sponsor and the first $20k raised will be benefiting Robin Hood; ROAR will be receiving all proceeds after that amount is raised).

How else can I help promote such a great cause?

Once you decide what cocktail you are promoting for ROAR, share this promotion in your newsletter and on your social feed and tag us @roar.ny! We will amplify the promotion on our end, and will be sending out a press release with all participants!



Thanks for making it to the end of this email! Hope to see some of you Friday night, email me if you want me to add you to my guest list!

And thank you for supporting ROAR!


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