The owners behind Batch Brewing Company, Felony Provisions, and Detroit BBQ Company are partnering on Saturday, November 28, to offer service industry workers and anyone in need a pay-what-you-can meal.
“When you hear that the service industry is suffering, you need to realize is that it’s a lot more than proprietors, struggling to pay their rent. Its servers, line cooks, dishwashers, security guards, and everyone that makes a restaurant go,” Batch’s Stephen Roginson says in a release.
From noon to 6 p.m. on Saturday, sometimes referred to as Small Business Saturday, anyone is welcome to visit Batch Brewing Company at in Corktown to partake in a free pork and veggie roast. Meals will be distributed through a socially distanced line with masks required. Guests are welcome to eat on the patio or take the meal to-go. Visitors will be provided with a free meal unless they indicate that they have the means to make a donation to the program.
The hospitality industry has been hit especially hard by the COVID-19 pandemic, due to the fact that shutdowns typically focus on communal spaces where people remove their masks — such as when eating or drinking. At the same time, capacity limits have made turning a profit or breaking even, more challenging for restaurants. In Michigan, a three-week pause on indoor dining went into effect on Wednesday, November 18, resulting in a new wave of layoffs across the state. Unlike in the spring, many programs and grants that were available to support people impacted financially from the pandemic have lapsed or are about to and the congress remains deadlocked on passing a new stimulus package.
“This second shut down, while only scheduled for three weeks, feels harder than the first one. With no federal unemployment support, the layoffs that are happening as a result of this newest COVID spike are hitting us all hard,” Rece Hogerheide, owner of Felony Provisions, says in a statement.
Tim Idzikowski of the Detroit BBQ Company food trailer says in a statement that he hopes that the meal will provide people with some relief. ““It’s not much, us making a free meal for people affected financially by COVID, but it’s something we can do. It’s something we should do. And if it helps a little bit, even just for an afternoon, then it’s totally worth it,” he says.
For more ideas for how to help fight food insecurity visit Eater Detroit’s guide to mutual aid programs and food assistance.