July 16, 2020

#RestaurantsAreHere supports social justice and the Black community

Regardless of the hardships they face, restaurant teams are standing up for their shared values and supporting those in their communities who face discrimination and injustice.

As always, restaurants show they are a place where friends and neighbors can engage in productive discourse, where opportunity and second chances thrive, and where service extends beyond the dining experience to the diverse communities outside their doors.

Here are some stories of restaurants supporting the Black community and those protesting in support of social justice.

Mei Mei in Boston, on behalf of its staff members, made donations to organizations of their choice, including National Bail Out, The Loveland Foundation, and Black and Pink. Chef-owner Irene Li said, “The money is coming from a fund I’d saved for our next expansion project, but we’ve had to cancel some [of those] plans. Our business needs a just and equitable world to expand into.” Read more on Boston Restaurants’ Support.

Roy Boys in Washington, D.C., offered protestors sandwiches during June’s mass protests. When word got out that beverage director Frank Mills and manager Coey Becker were looking to feed as many people as possible, donations started pouring into a Venmo account that Mills had set up. In just four days, they received $12,000, and put the money toward food, supplies, and transportation. What they couldn’t use, they donated.

Red Light, Capitol Lounge, The Hamilton, Left Door, Barcode, Chaplin’s, Rewind by Decades, Red Bear Brewing Co., and sPACYcLOUd were among the countless other restaurants and bars that stepped up.

The D.C. hospitality industry showed up in full force, from small mom-and-pop shops to institutions like Old Ebbitt Grill and Ben’s Chili Bowl. In addition to providing those marching with fuel, many downtown restaurants and bars opened their doors to people looking to cool off, use the restroom, and charge their phones,” Washington City Paper reported. Read more here.

Yardy in New York, launched a free meal program for local Black families. “My goal is to provide meal relief for Black families because we are, indeed, still in the midst of a pandemic, and food insecurity should not be a barrier to living and getting through your day,” owner DeVonn Francis wrote on his personal Instagram account. The free meal program raised more than $16,000 in donations. Read the full story on New York City Restaurants’ Support

Tell us what you’re doing to support communities and causes during the pandemic. Help us share your good works by using the hashtag #RestaurantsAreHere on your social media channels.