4-8-2020 Letter to our GI Members

Published by gianfranco on


Dear GI Members and Friends,

We as restaurant and hospitality professionals have always been the cornerstone of our community.  We bring our neighbors, friends, and business associates together. Typically, we are the first industry to be called upon, by all foundations, both for profit and not-for profit, to help raise awareness for a cause or to celebrate special occasion.

The CVID-19 outbreak has changed our industry and communities in ways unimaginable a month ago.  All along the food industry chain from restaurants to importers, from product manufacturers and farmers to distributors, we have all taken an economic hit that may threaten our very businesses. It seems the only reality is uncertainty, and that is very troubling.  Very unsettling.  

Yet I believe it is within a crisis that we find character, and more importantly, compassion for one another. Ironically COVID-19 has isolated us, but it has also united us all in a common cause: to beat this virus’s spread, and to take care of ourselves and each other. In doing so, we minimize its impact upon our livelihoods. It is an immense challenge, but we must step up.

GRUPPO ITALIANO cannot lose sight of what we all do best as restaurateurs, that is, we serve people. We serve our communities.  Many of our fellow restaurateurs are providing food to healthcare workers and their patients, to the elderly, to schools, as well as to those less fortunate who need food and simply have no means to get it. Our GI restaurateurs, chefs and their staffs continue to deliver food to New Yorkers at a very high risk to their own health.

GRUPPO ITALIANO has asked our leadership and politicians to help our industry.  We must do this in order to survive.  However, lets not overlook the need to help one another and our community, where we can, to service their needs as we take care of our own. They surely need us now, and GRUPPO ITALIANO will certainly need their support in the days ahead with our own industry recovery.

The compassionate words of President Kennedy are so appropriate to our present circumstances, “Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country”. In this trying time, please find ways to help your neighbors, your customers, and your business partners. Show people you care about them.  We all need each other.  We are all in this together.


Very sincerely yours,

Gianfranco Sorrentino,




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