NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) – All around Hampton Roads, laid off works are reeling from the effects of the coronavirus pandemic.
Cost-cutting measures have hit the service industry especially hard, something Jamie Summs already experienced.
Summs, a co-owner of 80/20 Burger Bar in Norfolk, had to lay off 27 employees, leaving him, his co-owner and a few managers to keep the restaurant going.
“We did the analysis, and it was more evident that our employees could get greater access to money by filing for unemployment than keeping them on the payroll and only giving them five to 10 hour shifts, or maybe $100 to $200 in sales,” he said.
Summs knew that many other restaurateurs were in the same position, so when Eric Nelson of Crudo Nudo reached out to him about feeding struggling service industry workers, he began to enlist and organize.
“This is an incredible idea, let’s run with it,” Summs said. “Many of them [restaurant owners] were like, ‘Yeah, sign me up for this day.’”
Crudo Nudo prepared the first round of takeout meals last Saturday, followed by Codex, 80/20, Redwood Smoke Shack, and Public House.
Summs served 130 meals from his restaurant Monday night.
“We want to let them know that this is something we want to do to say thank you” he said. “This is not a handout, it’s a handshake to everyone that’s supported us.”
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