Businesses launching crowdfund campaigns to aid survival and support staff

By James McAllister

- Last updated on GMT

Restaurant and hospitality businesses launching crowdfund campaigns to aid survival and support staff

Related tags coronavirus Restaurant crowdfunding UnitedWeStand

Hospitality businesses have begun launching crowdfund campaigns to support people in their communities as well as their own staff and to help them stay afloat during the Coronavirus crisis.

The Drapers Arms in Islington has launched a GoFundMe campaign with a £10,000 target to help support its staff in the coming weeks and months.  

Writing on The Drapers Arms’ Twitter account, owner Nick Gibson said: “Our lovely GM has set up a staff welfare fund for team Drapers. 

“Many kind people have asked me if they can buy vouchers to support the business. I’d much rather you supported my team. Any kindness overwhelming. This is only in response to offers of help.”

While The Drapers Arms currently remains open, it is likely to follow many other pubs and restaurants that have announced the temporary closure of sites in the last couple of days. 

The shuttering of restaurant sites has already led to thousands of staff being laid off, with Chancellor Rishi Sunak’s recently announced package of support measures appearing to offer scant support to businesses already struggling without cashflow.

Instagram-friendly bar chain Tonight Josephine has also launched a crowdfund campaign, via CrowdFunder, that’s seeking to raise £50,000 to help the business survive the current crisis.

“Whilst the statement made by Rishi Sunak yesterday may seem positive, it does not offer any form of respite in the immediate term, and without cashflow in to the business, the future of our beloved Adventure Bar Group is in grave danger,” says a spokesperson for the group.  

“If you, a loved one or a friend has ever had an amazing experience at Tonight Josephine, we need you now more than ever. Any support you're able to offer is extremely invaluable and will help secure the future of not only the company, but the employment of 135 employees that we care deeply about. Any donation, big or small will go a long way.”

In Bristol, Wilson's has launched a GoFundMe campaign to support its staff as they continue to work. While the restaurant itself is closed, the staff are using produce harvested from the restaurant's farm to cook food for people in their community that can be collected for free, and eaten at home. 

And The Cauldron Restaurant, also in Bristol, has launched a campaign to raise money for staff unable to work while the site in closed. 

More details on The Drapers Arms campaign can be found here​; click here​ for more details of Tonight Josephine’s one; here​ for Wilson's; and here​ for The Cauldron. 

Meanwhile, industry charity Hospitality Action has launched an emergency appeal to help provide financial relief for hospitality workers impacted by the wide-ranging restaurant closures and staff layoffs currently being experienced across the industry. For more details, click here​.

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