Coronavirus emergency funds for restaurant workers are being set up - but they are trying to plug a massive shortfall


States across the country have closed bars and restaurant dine-in services in an attempt to mitigate the spread of the coronavirus. 

In response, industry groups are setting up emergency funds for the bartenders and restaurant workers who are suddenly without work.Advertisement

But they are trying to plug a huge shortfall in wages. According to, lost wages in New York City's restaurant industry could number between $300 million to $400 million - in just one month. 

 The Restaurant Workers' Community Foundation has created a COVID-19 Emergency Relief Fund for individual workers and small businesses in the restaurant industry.

According to the website, the fund will help individual workers who are facing economic hardships or health crises as a direct result of COVID-19. It will also provide zero-interest loans to businesses so that they can maintain payroll during closure or reopen once the crisis is over. Those in need of assistance are asked to email COVIDHELP@RESTAURANTWORKERSCF.ORG.

The One Fair Wage campaign, a nonprofit created to advocate for restaurant workers, has set up an emergency fund for tipped workers and service workers impacted by the coronavirus.

According to the website, the fund is providing cash assistance to "restaurant workers, car service drivers, delivery workers, personal service workers and more." Those in need must first fill out a form on the website and then an organizer will reach out to them. Advertisement

In addition, the United States Bartenders Guild (USBG) is offering emergency grants for bartenders. According to the website, bartenders, their spouses, or their children can apply for a grant through the Bartender Emergency Assistance Program.

Jameson, the Irish whiskey brand, has pledged $500,000 to the USBG to support those dealing with the impacts of the coronavirus.

"To our local bartenders: you've always had our backs, and we promise to always have yours," the brand wrote in a tweet.Advertisement

But the USBG already seems overwhelmed. According to the USBG National Charity Foundation's website, those applying may experience problems or delays due to high demand.