Due to the coronavirus/COVID-19 pandemic, as of today, all Bynum Hospitality Group restaurants (Warmdaddy’s, Relish, SOUTH & Green Soul) will temporarily discontinue service and close our doors.
The last 24 hours have made this decision both easier and harder to make. As we learn more about coronavirus and COVID-19, the less willing we are to put our staff and their loved ones in harms way. At this time, the best means of containing the coronavirus is through the practice of social distancing. Obviously this impacts our lives and our businesses in a very significant way.
Like many of our friends and colleagues around the country, and around the world, we face challenges unlike any we have experienced before. To ensure the well-being of the community we serve and the staff we employ, we have been forced to make some very tough decisions.
We have wrestled for days with how to maintain our business in a way that allows us to continue to employ several hundred people and provide a respite to many from the stresses of everyday life, all without endangering the health and well-being of those we employee and those we serve. Morally and ethically it has become impossible to remain open and conduct business as usual.
In just under two weeks, our restaurant group was set to begin the celebration of our 30th anniversary. Our plans included live music series with tributes to legendary musicians, many of whom are no longer with us, and special menus to commemorate our first restaurant and Jazz club, Zanzibar Blue.
In recent days, our focus has shifted away from celebrating and toward mounting a response to the unprecedented crisis the entire world is facing. What we anticipated to be a time of joy and celebration has quickly been replaced by uncertainty, angst and sadness.
While many industries will be hard hit, the hospitality industry and its 15 million workers will almost certainly pay a higher price. Our collective energies; those of the hospitality industry and those who help the hospitality industry thrive must now be focused on:
• imploring our local, state and federal governments to support emergency unemployment benefits for all hourly and salaried workers furloughed during this crisis
• elimination of the payroll tax to lessen the burden on companies who will continue to pay their employees despite a total loss of revenue
• a call for rent and loan abatements for workers impacted by the pandemic
Words cannot adequately convey our gratitude to the patrons who have supported us over the years. We also want to extend an extra and heartfelt thank you to our dedicated managers and staff. We take genuine pride in knowing we are a small part of the fabric that makes up this great city.
We thank you all for the support you have shown us; past, present and future. We eagerly anticipate the day we can safely and responsibly welcome you back. Until then, treat each other with dignity and kindness, because, as it has become increasingly clear, when it’s all said and done, we only have each other.
If you wish to continue to support our small businesses and others, we encourage you to purchase gift cards online and continue to use take-out and food delivery services. We are pledging 30% of net profits from the sale of gift cards purchased now through April 15, to an emergency fund for our tipped employees, many of whom will be out of work for an indefinite period of time.
Additionally, any perishable food on our shelves will be prepared and distributed to the members of staff who wish to accept it.
Thank you and be well.
With warm regards and great respect,
The Owners and Managers at Warmdaddy’s, Relish, SOUTH & Green Soul