by David Klemt

86 Restaurant Struggle Campaign a Quarter of the Way to Million-dollar Goal

by David Klemt

It’s a new year and we could all use a lift and some great news.

I think a grassroots campaign to provide financial assistance to struggling restaurant workers should restore a bit of faith in humanity.

Chef Andrew Gruel, CEO and executive chef of the Slapfish chain of seafood restaurants, along with wife Lauren Gruel and Slapfish vice president of operations Brad Hall, launched the 86 Restaurant Struggle campaign on GoFundMe in December 2020. The goal is to raise $1 million for restaurant workers enduring hardship.

This news gets better and better:

  • 86 Restaurant Struggle has raised over $228,000 of the $1 million goal.
  • More than 2,100 people have donated to the GoFundMe campaign.
  • So far, half of the donations fall within the $5-100 range, meaning that even during these incredibly difficult times, people are coming together to give whatever they can afford to share.
  • The funds are being dispersed immediately to restaurant workers in need.
  • Turnaround time for 86 Restaurant Struggle fund applicants to be screened and receive their funds is, so far, less than two days.
  • As of two days ago, the campaign has managed to quickly disperse more than $100,000 of the funds raised.

The campaign is inspiring, even if the reason for its existence is the maddening failure of government to provide meaningful assistance to the hospitality industry and the millions of hard-working people it employs. This industry is made up of people who don’t leave others behind and who won’t wait for the government to decide anyone’s fate if they can help it.

Hey, we may not all like one another but we have each other’s backs. It’s important for our mental and emotional health to keep that in mind, as difficult as that may be sometimes.

To learn more about 86 Restaurant Struggle, please click here. To apply for assistance, click here. To follow Chef Gruel and track the progress of 86 Restaurant Struggle, click here.