The restaurant industry has been left reeling in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. But with unprecedented times, come unprecedented measures, as many chefs pivot and petition, others are simply concentrating on trying to take care of their staff as best they can.
Take US chef Gavin Kaysen from Spoon and Stable restaurant in Minneapolis who has recently launched an organisation with his group, Soigne Hospitality. The Heart of the House Foundation is a non-profit designed to support his team members and their families during restaurant closures.
"It’s clear that unemployment won’t make ends meet for all and is not an option for some. This equitable, transparent system for support will focus on the immediate needs for these individuals."
Kaysen and his wife have already pledged the first $10,000 in a bid "to sustain the growth, health, and prosperity" of the Soigné Hospitality family.
Speaking about the new foundation, Kaysen expanded: "We are doing this for all the right reasons. Nobody could ever expect to see their life, and the financials that are involved, flipped upside down so quickly. While we understand it is not required, we felt, and feel, that it is important to take care of the team that takes care of us and our guests. It is important to me for so many of the reasons I just highlighted, but more than that, it shows that we are really committed to, not only our teams, but also to our community. We have two really important jobs right now. One, to take care of our teams. Two, to make sure we can get our restaurants back up and running, because ultimately, that will also help us achieve point #1.
Our goal is to first and foremost take care of the furloughed employees. From there, we will reevaluate our goals and find a way to perhaps grow this foundation."
The foundation logo is inspired by Kintsugi, the Japanese art of repairing broken pottery by mending the cracked pieces with gold, adding value and beauty to the object.