3.20.20 / New York/ New York

The Hospitality Industry Needs Our Help Right Now

A little help for our friends

It’s been an uncomfortable week, all of us sequestered in our homes (as we should be) and unable to connect with the communities we’ve formed and rely on so deeply. It’s particularly jarring for us to look at our site and realize how important restaurants, bars, clubs, and hotels are to our culture, when they’ve so suddenly become unable to operate, some approaching the brink of solvency. Even hotels, the very thing that has fueled us, are now forced to lay off employees. It’s unfathomable to think these pillars of culture and society have been shaken this abruptly. While we wait to see if these industries will be granted enough—or any—stimulus that will help keep independent businesses alive and protect workers, we also share the palpable sense of uncertainty.

Make no mistake, it’s crucial to donate to organizations like the Food Bank and donate supplies like face masks to hospitals, but we also can’t forget about the community that is all around us. Workers who have been let go are stuck with bills; bars and restaurants are scrambling to keep people on staff; your favorite neighborhood spot may not even re-open when all of this passes. We encourage you to pay attention to those people now, and consider doing whatever you can to preserve the industry that has been a source of joy, and community, and indulgence for all of us. If you have the means, support the relief funds for workers (Grub Street has put together a great list of restaurants and bars raising funds that will go towards restaurant staff). Even if you’re just craving delivery, get it from the independent restaurants that are trying to stay afloat and keep at least some of their staff employed.

It’s tempting to bemoan all of this, feel sad, feel annoyed. We’re home, frustrated, antsy, and nervous, and feeling a little helpless too. We miss our communities. But we can at least make an effort to help the very people who have allowed those communities to form in the first place.

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