With bars, restaurants and cafes shuttering across the US as the coronavirus emergency gathers momentum, the industry is entering unchartered social and economic waters.
With no defined end date to re-open, the daunting economics and uncertainty are stacking up for chefs and restauranteurs operating across all states, as teams of staff are laid off and paying rent and bills is of paramount concern.
In a bid to offer financial relief to the industry's workers, several wider community-funded campaigns are supporting networks of workers while a number of restaurants have launched independent drives to help raise money from their own loyal customers.
Here's an (evolving) list of campaigns that you can donate to, to show your support to those hit hardest in an industry experiencing an unprecedented crisis.
The James Beard Foundation Food and Beverage Industry Relief Fund
The US non profic organisation has launched a fund to provide emergency relief to independent food and beverage businesses in need, gathering support from corporate, foundation, and individual donors to provide micro-grants to independent food and beverage businesses that need it most.
World Central Kitchen
Jose Andres World Central Kitchen has been involved from the beginning of the coronavirus outbreak, first helping feed those passengers quarantined on a cruise ship. The organization’s chefs need financial help to continue preparing meals for those in need during the crisis.
We spoke to WCK's CEO Nate Mook who said: "donations are one of the best ways to support our work because it goes directly to purchasing the food to feed people.”
Donate here to support their work.
One Fair Wage
One Fair Wage has launched an emergency fund to support tipped workers and service workers affected by the coronavirus and the economic downturn.
"We’re providing cash assistance to restaurant workers, car service drivers, delivery workers, personal service workers and more who need the money they aren’t getting to survive."
Restaurant Workers Community Foundation - COVID-19 Crisis Relief Fund
The Restaurant Worker’s Community Foundation, which works across a number of labor issues, has formed a COVID-19 Crisis Relief Fund for restaurant workers. The organization will focus on supporting “an industry in crisis,” including both workers and small-business owners. The Fund will provide aid provide relief to individual workers affected by the coronavirus and to create zero-interest loans to businesses.
Restaurant Opportunities Centers Relief
The nonprofit Restaurant Opportunities Centers (ROC) United has set a target of $500,000 for its emergency relief fund, which seeks to help documented and undocumented restaurant workers who lose their jobs during the pandemic.
Help Hourly Workers During The Coronavirus Crisis
A campaign to offer direct relief to hourly workers (including those who rely on tips) who have lost income or jobs. Tipping Point Community (San Francisco) and Robin Hood (NYC) will distribute the donations to organizations that provide direct cash assistance to workers who are most directly affected.
Workers Relief Funds - State Level
Restaurant Association Metropolitan Washington
The Washington association has created a coronavirus worker relief fund to help businesses and individuals navigate the impact on the industry. They are offering worker relief support with Hook Hall Helps to support restaurant and foodservice industry workers who may need assistance with supplies, community support, family meal, and more.
DMV Restaurant Worker Relief Fund (Washington DC)
A collective of restaurant workers is running this fundraiser, who are looking to disperse the funds to everyone who has applied, allowing each person to receive a minimum of $100.
They are well over halfway to their $30,000 goal.
Charlottesville Restaurant Community Fund
Another local fund, supporting service workers in the local restaurant community in Charlottesville; "Your contribution will allow a restaurant employee to pay an important bill, pay their utility bill, afford a doctor's visit, buy a week's worth of groceries, buy formula for their baby, buy feminine hygiene products, cover the cost of a prescription, take an Uber to work, put gas in their car, and so much more!" They are just a few thousand dollars off their $20.000 target.
Save Our Local Restaurants (Sacramento)
The Sacramento Restaurant Community and the Farm-to-Fork movement, Mayor Steinberg and Region Restaurants have established this GoFundMe to help support the survival and reopening of locally owned independent restaurants and bars. "Funds will be distributed to qualifying restaurants who apply."
Rethink Is Hiring and Giving $40K Grants
Rethink, a New York City-based non-profit working to recover nutritious excess food to provide low or no-cost meals to New York City families in need is responding to the coronavirus crisis with a newly launched Rethink Restaurant Response Program offering operators and restaurant workers two creative and financially supportive options for help.
Seattle Restaurant Workers Coronavirus Rent Fund
Funds raised for Seattle Restaurant workers will go to Big Table, a non-profit with the mechanisms "to get Seattle Restaurant workers the help they need." They are en route to raising $1,000,000.
Restaurant Relief Funds
Individual restaurants and restaurant groups are also taking direct action, appealing for funds to offer economic relief to their staff. See a list of such restaurants below,
Adda, Rahi, & Masalawala Staff Support Fund (Queens, NY)
Olmsted and Maison Yaki Staff Disaster Fund (Brooklyn, NY)
Union Square Hospitality Group Employee Relief Fund (Manhattan, NY)
Grove house family fund (Brooklyn, NYC)
Support for Atofam (Manhattan, NY)
Atelier/Bar Crenn Employee Relief Fund - COVID 19 and Petit Crenn Employee Relief Fund - COVID 19 (San Francisco)
Del Posto Family Fund (Manhattan, NY)
Miss Ada employee relief fund! (Brooklyn, NY)
The Finch Needs Your Help (Brooklyn, NY)