An ever-growing list of area restaurant professionals is banding together on behalf of hourly employees who’ve been temporarily sidelined—or who’ve lost their jobs—in the wake of business shutdowns due to the coronavirus (COVID-19).
The group—which includes Shooters Waterfront, as well as The Restaurant People and its roster of establishments—has launched a crowdfunded initiative called “Hands for Hospitality.” Donations can made at the following Go Fund Me page: gofundme.com/f/hands-for-hospitalityFTL. Money raised will be distributed equally to hourly restaurant employees who are out of work and registered into the program (as authorized by their respective eateries and restaurant groups).
“This is unchartered territory for restaurateurs and business owners,” says Tim Petrillo, co-founder and CEO of The Restaurant People. “We all have the safety and health of our patrons top of mind—and equally so, the well-being and livelihood of our valued team members. It’s been overwhelming to see Fort Lauderdale restaurants pull together in an effort to provide relief to our employees, and we’re grateful for the continued support of our community.”
As of Thursday afternoon, the list of participating Broward-based restaurants in Hands for Hospitality included:
- The Restaurant People (including Yolo, O Lounge, Java & Jam, Township, Rooftop@1WLO, TRP Taste, S3 and Boatyard)
- Be Nice Hospitality (Coconuts, Foxy Brown, Lunch Room and Top Hat Deli)
- Beer Famous Group (Tarpon River Brewing)
- Old School Hospitality (the Quarterdeck restaurants, Good Spirits and Whiskey Neat)
- Knallhart Management Group (The Wilder, Rhythm + Vine, and Boulevard Kitchen + Juice Bar)
- It’s Better on the Beach Hospitality (Spazio Italian Restaurant and Wine Lounge, Café Ibiza, Rock Bar, Tsukura and Blondies Sports Bar)
- Shooters Waterfront
“This fundraiser is meant to provide temporary support to our team members, who are like family to us,” says Aaron Abramoff, chief financial officer of The Restaurant People. “Restaurants and bars rely on a constant stream of revenue that stopped abruptly. Many of our establishments are still offering curbside or delivery food options to best service the community we adore and respect. We will continue to service the great city of Fort Lauderdale to the best of our abilities until we fully open our doors again.”
A website also is in the works (handsforhospitality.com), but it had yet to launch as of Thursday afternoon.