Image: Marcello Mastroianni
There are many ways to help those in the restaurant industry that have been hit disproportionately hard by the public health crisis. We rightfully praise medical professionals for going to work to help us through this. It should not be lost that the restaurant industry and its employees’ livelihoods (along with many other small businesses) were essentially sacrificed to protect the larger society. They are one of many groups that took one for the team. Here is your chance to help them out. Below are links to help employees – almost all of whom were laid off in one -fell swoop. (For ways to help restaurants through gift cards or doing take-out/delivery see this page)
One overarching effort that those in the industry are focusing on is advocating for greater federal and local government support. This open letter from Indie Chef Community is a good summary of the effort. At the top of that agenda is “The expansion of Unemployment Insurance up to full lost wages for employees while closed for the duration of the crisis.”
Other efforts are more directly aimed at support to laid-off employees, see below for those.
Restaurant-sponsored Relief Efforts and other direct methods:
Virtual Tip Jar: Verified accounts have been entered on a spread sheet so that you can donate directly to bartenders and servers that need your support. Donate to those whose name you recognize or randomly. It all helps.
NOTE: Laura Hayes at WCP is doing a similar list. Be sure to check that out too.
Tail Up Goat/Reveler’s Hour set up a page to directly support staff by donation cards or buying merch.
Jose Andres (Think Food Group): “We made a special gift card for 20% off and the money goes half to continue to extend pay and benefits and half to our ThinkFamilyFund.”
Fabio Trabocchi (Fiola, Fiola Mare, Del Mar, Sfoglina) set up a employee relief fund through the Greater Washington Community Foundation. All merch sales are also going to support the remaining staff. There are also individual restaurant GoFundMe efforts:
- Fiola Employee Relief Fund
Sfoglina Downtown Tipped Employee Fund
Fiola Mare Tipped Employee Relief Fund
Fiola Mare BOH
Sfoglina Van Ness Tipped Employee Relief Fund
Del Mar Tipped Employees Disaster Fund
Sfoglina Rosslyn Tipped Employee Fund
Hank’s Oyster Bars is giving all gift card proceeds go to staff relief through April 15, and there is a t-shirt to help too for $50.
Call Your Mother/Timber Pizza – They are continuing to pay staff despite being closed, which considering the ease of selling their product for take out is an insanely brave decision. All Merch sales help paying staff: Timber Merch; Gift Card. Call Your Mother Merch; Gift Card.
Cane – All Gift Card sales go to staff.
Robert Wiedmaier Restaurants (Brasserie Beck, Marcel’s, Lock 72, Wildwood Kitchen, Mussel Bar & Grille and Keystone Korner) Fundly Page
Go Fund Me Pages:
(In no particular order. There are many more, search online if you don’t see a place you are looking for)
Clyde’s Group Fund – Clydes, 1789, Old Ebbitt, The Hamilton, The Tombs, The Soundry.
Daikaya Group Fund – $150,000!!! Daikaya, Bantam King, Haikan, Hatoba and Tonari
Chef Geoff’s (includes LIAS, Tortilla Coast and Cafe Deluxe).
H2 (includes Brixton Rooftop, El Rey Margarita Garden, American Ice Co, Chez Billy, Echo Park, Players Club)
Momofuku – Hoping to raise $500K for its various locations, which gives a sense of the scale of the problem
Neighborhood Restaurant Group (The Evening Star / Rustico / Vermilion / Buzz Bakeshop / Columbia Firehouse / Birch & Barley / ChurchKey / Bluejacket / Red Apron / The Partisan / B Side / Iron Gate / Hazel / Owen’s Ordinary / The Grand Delancey / Slice Joint)
Queen’s English Staff Relief Fund via Venmo: Venmo@queensenglish.
Pom Pom – Venmo @ pompomstaff
Regional Relief Efforts:
Succotash is giving away up to 250 dinners a day to restaurant industry staff hit hard. They are also giving away staples like paper goods. To contribute contact email@example.com. For all monetary donations, please visit www.LEEInitiative.org to donate online. (Note, Maker’s Mark is supporting this effort. Patron Tequila also stepped up to make donations to support the industry and its people. Considering these are the people who’ve been slinging your Jack and Coke and 7 and Seven for years, I would expect many more to step up in a big way).
Washingtonian also flagged: One Fair Wage is raising money to help give extra cash to restaurant workers, delivery drivers, and other hospitality employees in need of financial assistance. The campaign aims to give workers each $213. Those seeking assistance can fill out this form. One Fair Wage will follow up with a call within 7 to 10 days to confirm the information. Note: They prioritize funds for service workers who’ve already been involved with the “one fair wage” cause. You can donate here.
Laura Hayes also flagged efforts that focus on the immigrant community in this piece for WCP – links at bottom of article.
National Relief Efforts:
Here is an Eater.com list with some of these and more.
There are some resources to help those who have been hit. We are not expert on this things, but here are some links that might be helpful:
Here is a list from Muchas Gracias that focuses on immigrant support, but has links for other industry employees.
If you would like to flag an effort to be added, you can reach us at 17degreesdc at gmail. If anyone with more resources wants to cut and paste this to build it out – feel free to steal it.