More metro restaurants are closing each day, faced with dismal sales and concerns over the health and safety of staff and patrons. Some business are now trying to bolster margins and provide assistance to workers in need with merchandise sales.
Mandates closing restaurant dining rooms for service and more customers cooking at home, the industry has taken a major hit: A new survey by the National Restaurant Association indicates that roughly 62 percent of participating restaurants laid off a portion of their staff as a result of the coronavirus crisis. Approximately one-third of restaurants in Michigan are projected to close permanently.
While it won’t be a won’t be a remedy for the increasingly bleak public health and economic situation, purchasing a shirt, a mug, a meal, or a bag of coffee could potentially help give small businesses a bit of a boost.
Grey Ghost and Second Best: Staff at Grey Ghost and Second Best, like many employees across the industry, were hit hard by the novel coronavirus restaurant closures. The owners of these establishments are selling a t-shirt reading “One Team, One Dream” and 100 percent of the proceeds go to employees.
Rose’s Fine Food: Popular brunch destination Rose’s Fine Foods is closed for business at the moment, but fans can lend some support by ordering one of the restaurant’s ultra-soft pullovers and t-shirts. The designs change regularly.
Sister Pie: West Village bakeshop Sister Pie is selling bright red grocery bags and sweatshirts as well as t-shirts with cute illustrations of the shop.
Norma G’s: Pick up a bottle of Caribbean hot pepper sauce from Norma G’s in Jefferson Chalmers to punch up your meals at home.
Supino Pizzeria: Eastern Market’s favorite slice shop Supino Pizzeria is selling all manner of merch from canvas tote bags for those future market days to red on white sweatshirts.
Pietrzyk Pierogi: Show off your quarantine Polish cooking skills with aprons from Pietrzyk Pierogi. The restaurant features “Kielbasa King” and “Pierogi Queen” designs.
Detroit Institute of Bagels: Detroit Institute of Bagels is on hiatus due to COVID-19, but the shop is still raising funds through sales of its t-shirts, to-go coffee mugs, and adorable “Boiled & Baked” baby onesies.
Bikes & Coffee: Suit up to support Woodbridge cafe Bikes & Coffee with themed wool socks, t-shirts, and even stickers.
Selden Standard: This Cass Corridor restaurant just released a new e-cookbook, patio art-inspired t-shirts, and more sweet merch. One hundred percent of the proceeds will go to support employees.
Voyager: Ferndale seafood restaurant Voyager is selling t-shirts, sweatshirts, and gift cards with a large portion of the proceeds from each item going to employees.
Eli Tea: In addition to tea and brewing equipment, Eli Tea is selling rainbow-striped t-shirts and sweatshirts.
Sugar House: The current health crisis has put many bartenders out of work. The Sugar House is pre-selling t-shirts with a Renaissance plague mask-inspired design with 100 percent of the profits going to staff.
Batch Brewing Company: Batch Brewing Company is closed due to the novel coronavirus pandemic, but the brewery is still selling merch including t-shirts, sweatshirts, and tanks.
Ferndale Project and Eastern Market Brewing Co.: These sister breweries are selling all sorts of merch in their online shops from baby onesies to glassware to hats.
D’Amato’s, Goodnight Gracie, and Iron Horse: Customers who donate $25 or more to the D’Amato’s, Goodnight Gracie, and Iron Horse staff GoFundMe will receive a “Yep, I’m a regular” t-shirt.
Mabel Gray: In addition to a curbside takeout menu, customers can order Vampire Lair shirts, hoodies, mugs, and more from Mabel Gray via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Standby: This downtown Detroit bar is selling an e-book featuring simplified at-home versions of some of Standby’s best-loved cocktails. Proceeds from the book sales go to employees.
Eater is tracking the impact of the novel coronavirus on the local food industry. Have a story to share? Reach out at email@example.com.
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