Restaurants have been struggling to navigate the pandemic, but Trust Restaurant Group owner Brad Wise is turning to his kitchen to do something good for fellow workers in his industry who are out of a job due to the pandemic.
Starting Dec. 16, Wise will be giving away free three-course steak dinners to unemployed restaurant workers. He, too, has been struggling to keep the lights on, but said he wanted to do something for others who are trying to hold on.
“Just preparing a meal once a week for somebody that’s in our industry,” Wise said. “Taking care of our own meant something to us.”
Wise said he’s flipping the bill for the first 150 dinners, but is hoping the community can help fund future meals and give the program longevity. He’s looking to help out those who’ve lost their jobs for as long as possible, while also trying to keep aboard the workers he still has.
“We’re doing this out of the kindness of our hearts and being able to retain some of these employees,” Wise said.
All people need to do is go to raresocietysd.com/industry/ and buy a meal for an unemployed worker. There, people will also be able to craft an inspiring message to uplift workers during this challenging time. Wise said he hasn’t been untouched by the pandemic, the possibility of closing up shop crossed his mind.
“Sometimes, you just really think about closing the doors, weather the storm,” Wise said. “But, then you have to let go of all your staff, and you just can’t do that when you’re this close with the family.”
For now, Wise's program will offer meals on Wednesdays and he only has a limited number of meals he can give out. If a Wednesday is booked up, workers can sign up for a steak dinner the following week. Starting Thursday, unemployed workers will be able to access the list online and sign up for a meal.
“It’s a small something, but it’s just something to give back to my fellow industry folk,” Wise said.