These Restaurant Aid Efforts Deserve All the Tips

The pandemic has been especially hard on restaurants and the people who run them. Luckily, many folks within and outside the industry stepped up to help themselves and others.

Photograph courtesy of Dunlap Café

Dunlap Café

Closing altogether during the pandemic was not an option for Rachel Appenfelder, who purchased Over-the-Rhine’s Dunlap Café in January. She kept the party going with buzzworthy Adult Happy Meals (in the familiar-shaped kiddie box), complete with a burger, fries, and your choice of adult beverage (or a “pop, ’cause you’re on the clock,” as the menu said).

Cincy Card Connection

3CDC doubled the impact of gift card purchases from local businesses with its Cincy Card Connection initiative. Each gift card purchased, up to $500 per person, was matched with a gift card to a minority- or woman-owned business. Raising more than $250,000 in the first round, they continued with a second round and raised $650,000 total.

LaRosa’s Team Member Relief Fund

LaRosa’s knew the impact partial closure would have on its 4,000 employees, many of whom would encounter reduced hours and financial hardships. In April and May, the pizzeria parlayed its fundraising Buddy Card into the LaRosa’s Team Member Relief Fund. Through card purchases, cash donations, and dollar-for-dollar matching by the LaRosa family, the program raised more than $450,000, for its workers.

Feed the Frontlines Cincinnati

Ashley Heidt (event specialist) and Brent Oberholzer (bar director) of forthcoming Hyde Park eatery Dear Restaurant & Butchery were inspired by colleagues in other cities who were feeding frontline workers while putting restaurants to work. They wanted to do the same. Launching Feed the Frontlines Cincinnati in April, they raised $16,850 (as of May 22) to feed more than 1,000 healthcare workers at The Christ Hospital.

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