DENVER, Colo. – Restaurants across the country are dealing with the highs and lows of the coronavirus pandemic.
“It’s just been a rollercoaster of emotions,” said Corrine Trujillo, a server at Postino LoHi in Denver.
Postino LoHi had to lay off most of its staff after state orders forced this dine-in restaurant to go takeout only. Now, the workers that are left are looking to preserve their business and also figure out ways to support their team.
“In lieu of gratuity we are reallocating some of those funds to our team members who are unable to work right now,” Trujillo said.
The movement is called Takeout for Teams and the is goal raising $500,000 in donations for workers that lost their jobs.
“It was really interesting about what happened to our industry was we literally went dark overnight,” said Lauren Bailey, CEO of Upward Projects, restaurant group with locations in Arizona, Colorado and Texas.
Bailey says COVID-19 restrictions forced her team to furlough about 80% of its staff – which is about 1,200 employees.
“It was devastating to us to take what we consider our family and have them lose their jobs overnight,” she said.
Upward Projects teamed up with Fox Restaurant Concepts to start this program where customers can donate to the entire restaurant group instead of an single server.
“As terrible as this has been, it’s been so beautiful to see this incredible human kindness come from some many people,” Bailey said.
During this time of uncertainty, restaurant workers like Trujillo says even a small donation can make a big difference.
“Ninety percent of the time people are so excited about that and they want to make sure they can contribute,” she said.