COVID-19 is Crippling the Hospitality Industry. How Can We Help?

It’s an unprecedented time. With the Coronavirus sweeping the globe, I think it’s safe to say pretty much everyone is feeling a little anxious right now…at the very least!

Many of us are stuck in our homes, and if we’re lucky, we’re working remotely. But for those people who have lost their jobs – of which there will be many – the anxiety and dread and uncertainty about the future is all-consuming. For anyone working in the service industry, it’s a dire situation.

The restaurant industry could lose $225 billion in sales during the next three months, forcing the elimination of as many as 7 million industry jobs…”

All the States That Have Closed Restaurants and Bars Due to Coronavirus

Restaurants and bars have been forced to close throughout the country, effecting millions of people who rely on the service industry to pay the bills. While some distilleries are getting creative, and pivoting into the hand sanitizer business, bars and restaurants are limited in what they can do.

For restaurants, most are relying on a swift delivery businesses to stay afloat – as well as gift cards. And some states, after a change to laws allowing liquor delivery, will now allow bars to deliver cocktails and wine. Because there is so much precaution around the virus, however, and to keep overhead down, the only employees doing the prep and deliveries are often times the owners of the business itself.

I’ve found myself feeling helpless and wondering how I can help the people in this industry that I care so much about. I’ve compiled a list of resources for people in and outside of the hospitality industry that I thought might be helpful. Because I’m in Los Angeles, some of these are more locally focused, but there should also be links to national organizations in here as well.

5 Ways You Can Help Your Favorite Bartenders Right Now

HELP OUT A BARTENDER

Below is a list of restaurants and bars that have put together GoFundMe pages for their workers. I wish I could drop ALL money into all of these accounts.
Los Angeles:
Ma’am Sir
Bar Flores, Lowboy, Adamae, Wolf & Crane
Gold-Diggers
Big Bar
Death & Co. – New York, Denver, LA
Here & Now
Here’s Looking at You
The Mermaid
Bar Stella
The Pikey
Las Perlas
All Day Baby
Melrose Umbrella Co
Caña Rum Bar
Redbird – 100% of gift card sales through the end of this month will go to financially support their team

New York:
Bar Goto and Bar Goto Niban
Misi|Lilian|Grovehouse
Nitecap
NoHo Hospitality
Fausto
Contra|Wildair
Alameda
Due West
BLT Steak Bar
Casa Nela
Hunky Dory
Leyenda & Clover Club
The Up & Up
Subject
Versa
Diamond Reef
Rockwood Music Hall
West 3rd Common

Portland, OR:
Voysey

HELP OUT THE BAR & RESTAURANT INDUSTRY

What to Say to Your Representatives to Advocate For a Restaurant Bailout

There are a lot of petitions going around to help the hospitality business stay alive. I’ve signed all of these. I invite you to do the same!
Federal Financial Relief
Change.org Petition: Keep New York’s hospitality scene alive. Bar & Restaurant Bailout! 
Change.org – Economic Aid for California Hospitality
Change.org – Small Biz Bailouts in Hospitality

LINKS FOR RESTAURANT/BAR WORKERS

List of resources for restaurants & restaurant workers in light of Coronavirus. Includes info on unemployment exceptions. 
Restaurant Workers Community Foundation

Aid For Bartenders During Bar Closures
Unemployment Websites by State
Local and nationwide resources that may provide some relief for laid-off restaurant workers
Disaster Unemployment Assistance
USBG – Bartender Emergency Assistance Program
The California WARN Act – Protections for Employees After Mass Layoffs
Bartender Quarantine Schedule
Restaurant Workers Relief Program with Nancy Silverton & Makers Mark

LINKS FOR BUSINESS OWNERS

Resource Links for Operators in Hospitality
Cherry Bombe – Resources for Businesses Impacted by the Coronavirus

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