After attempting to transition to curbside service earlier in the week, Milwaukee-based Bartolotta Restaurants on Thursday decided instead to cease operations entirely until further notice.
“We know we need to be part of the solution and lead by example in our community,” Paul Bartolotta, chef/owner and co-founder, said in a statement. “We hope our actions show we care deeply for our employees and encourage more people to stay home. We also hope it signals our government that we are ready for them to take stronger actions regarding social distancing and separation.”
The decision impacts more than 950 employees in the Milwaukee area among the multiconcept group’s restaurants, including the concepts Bacchus, Lake Park Bistro, Downtown Kitchen, Harbor House and Joey Gerard’s.
The company said in a statement it will offer medical benefits through the end of March. If there is no government unemployment assistance by then, the company said it will extend benefits through April 30.
Food and supplies from the restaurants will be distributed to employees so they can feed themselves and their families, the statement said.
The company has continued to pay salaried workers “and will do so for as long as it is possible.”
Guests are urged to support the restaurants by buying gift cards or contributing to a GoFundMe campaign to help support employee
Bartolotta Restaurants joins a growing number of large multiconcept groups that have temporarily shuttered restaurants and laid off or furloughed workers, including Union Square Hospitality Group in New York, Cameron Mitchell Restaurants in Columbus, Ohio, and Tom Douglas Restaurants in Seattle.
Contact Lisa Jennings at [email protected]
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