What went down at TL Insider’s Fireside Chat on the finance of food

What went down at TL Insider’s Fireside Chat on the finance of food

Powered by RBC InvestEase®, The Exchange is a new program by TL Insider aimed at bringing together leaders from different sectors to discuss their journeys into financial wellness. On April 20, members kicked off the series with an in-depth panel discussion on building financial resilience in the culinary industry. As Toronto restaurants continue to experience unprecedented challenges during the pandemic, leaders in the city’s food scene offered their unique perspectives of fruitful resilience.

The panel consisted of Julian Iliopoulos, Head Chef of Tanto, Shannon Armishaw, Co-Founder of Smoke & Tears, and Nuit Regular, Executive Chef and Co-Owner of Pai Northern Thai Kitchen, Kiin, Sabai Sabai, and Sukhothai. Together, they tackled big questions about adaptability and hope in the face of a crisis.

“In times of hardship, it’s important to consider your options and find a way to remain resilient,” says Iliopoulos. At Tanto, one of the city’s top Latin American restaurants, that meant growing their operations to offer takeout and ultimately leading to the launch of their newest project—Super Empanada. Similarly, Chef Nuit Regular leaned into the creative spirit of things; launching meal kits, a virtual marketplace and some fusion-inspired menu alterations which include a Thai burger and her take on poutine. “It is very important to embrace adaptability,” says Regular, adding that these changes should include “the development of strong relationships with people who surround your business—from suppliers to customers and even your landlord.” 

Adding input from the world of finance, Rajan Bansi, Head of RBC InvestEase®, spoke to the significance of investing in oneself and commended each panellist for the ways they’ve done so over the last year. “Putting money toward your business, which every one of our panellists has done today, is of course to fulfill your passion and your vision, but that in and of itself is an investment for a brighter tomorrow,” says Bansi. InvestEase® is RBC’s robo-advisor and online investing platform with a mission to bring smart investing to clients who want a low-cost, low-effort way to save for their future. Reflective in the stories of each restaurateur on the panel, financial wellness requires action. Bansi went on to share his notes and anecdotes on how to get started proactively and sustainably. 

For Armishaw, her business was born out of this approach—having invested in her creative potential to launch Smoke & Tears with her partner and Chef Kevin Rickey under the constraints of the pandemic. “My advice to people who are starting a business in this kind of environment would be to address points of vulnerability and create a plan to minimize those risks in a way that allows you to do what you love and do it authentically,” she says. 

Throughout the virtual event and audience Q&A, members learned first-hand how to maintain hospitality, build financial resilience in the early stages of an entrepreneurial journey and the calculated value in spending money to make money. Sponsored by RBC Investease® and part of TL Insider’s Future of the Restaurant Industry Summit, watch the recorded event here to learn more about the finance of food. Plus: If you open up your first RBC InvestEase® account today, you won’t need to pay management fees for your first year*.

Learn more here.

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**To take advantage of this offer you must not have held an RBC InvestEase account prior to April 1, 2021. Accounts opened from April 1, 2021, to July 31, 2021, using promo code AA216 will not be charged the regular 0.5% management fee by RBC InvestEase for 12 months from the date of account opening. RBC InvestEase will notify clients 60 days in advance of any changes to the fees associated with their account as set out in the investment management agreement. A weighted average management expense ratio between 0.11-0.32% will still apply to the ETFs held in our portfolios. This offer cannot be combined with any other offers. RBC InvestEase Inc. reserves the right to amend or withdraw this offer at any time without notice.

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