“We operate on super small margins,” DarkHorse and Salvatore’s Tomato Pies owner Patrick DePula said in a public Facebook post late Sunday night. “Our employees are incredibly important to us. I don’t know how we survive if we shut down completely.”
“Our businesses are at tremendous personal risk”
To that end, a letter to Gov. Tony Evers was shared Monday on social media by various restaurants, breweries and their proprietors. Morris Ramen’s Francesca Hong and a few colleagues drafted the statement, which is reproduced below.
On Monday, Gov. Evers ordered restaurants to operate at less than 50% capacity or fewer than 50 people, whichever is less. Some states, such as Illinois, have closed restaurants except for delivery or drive-through orders.
We are a group of independent restaurant owners, chefs and farmers who make the city of Madison and the state of Wisconsin one of the greatest dining destinations in the U.S. Currently, our staff, who is our family, and our businesses are at tremendous personal risk. There are few workers in the state of Wisconsin who are as vulnerable and as valuable as the artists, artisans, and creative forces that fuel our businesses. We are calling for your administration to take action immediately to help our industry. There are too many unknowns for us to make informed, heavy, and maybe devastating decisions of staying open or closing. If we knew there was real aid available for our teams we could help salvage what we believe to be an integral part of the Wisconsin identity — communities coming together over food.
We demand the following take place:
- Immediately support emergency unemployment benefits to all hourly and salaried workers furloughed during this crisis.
- Eliminate Sales and Use Tax & Payroll Tax immediately
- Call for rent and loan abatement for workers and employers.
We in the hospitality industry are at a loss when we are not able to serve others. We are asking you and trusting you, the Governor, to help guide us and take action as soon as possible.
The Chefs and Restaurant Owners of Wisconsin