Please Help The Southern Belle & Georgia Boy Staff

Dear friends and supporters of Southern Belle & Georgia Boy,

                It has been my dream since I was a little boy to open my own restaurant. What began as a childhood fantasy manifested itself into something that far exceeded my expectations or even my wildest dreams. The opening of these two restaurants was not a miracle, rather the culmination of the hard work of the brilliant, wonderful people that I have been so fortunate to call our team. I cannot stress enough that the monumental task of opening and operating these two visions would not have been possible with any team other than this amazing group of people who I have grown to know as our SB+GB family over the many hours of hard work and passion poured into those walls over the last few months. I truly feel that together we accomplished something special.  

And Then... Covid-19 happened.

               as a result of the social distancing practices, Emily and I took what we believe was the correct course of action in order to do our part to help slow the spread of the virus and made the very difficult decision to (temporarily) close the doors 3/17.  As many of you may or may not know, the restaurant industry is a difficult one to work in. We operate on razor thin margins, and many of the servers depend on tips to make up the bulk of their income. Back of house employees often are forced to live paycheck to paycheck with many still paying monumental student loan debts from their years at culinary school. It has been our policy to help our staff in any way we can and to try to be a guiding light of reform in the industry.  Examples of this include paying our back of house staff a livable wage that includes paid vacation and sick leave. Adjusting the hourly rate of our tipped employees from the norm $2.13/hr to an amount that would provide a livable wage for them during the opening weeks until the volume of patrons (and tips) increased. We offer a 3 day weekend periodically for kitchen staff.
In the face of this unprecedented disaster,  It was not our intention to leave our team high and dry. 

After closing the doors Tuesday, All salaries have been stopped in an effort to conserve enough capital to re-open and have a job for the team to come back to. We are paying our staff their full paychecks Friday, plus an additional $500 for every employee that works for us (Salaried mangers, Kitchen team, Servers, Dishwashers, Hostesses, all get the same amount). It is my hope that this will help them to weather the storm until unemployment benefits can kick in. I will not be taking any compensation during this period and will be working very hard with Emily to encourage our Policy Makers to provide state and city aide for the industry in this time of crisis. 

I am asking for your donation in order to provide another week's worth of sustenance to help the staff make it until unemployment benefits can help, or (God willing) we can re-open. The goal of $12k is $500 to every employee. If everyone donates a minimum of $50 we will reach our goal.

Donations (120)

    • $500 
    • 3 yrs
  • Shane Merriam Garrison Brothers Distillery
    • $50 
    • 4 yrs
  • Mark Griffin
    • $50 
    • 4 yrs
  • Steven Duncan
    • $25 
    • 4 yrs
  • Lorrin and Wil Carter
    • $50 
    • 4 yrs

Fundraising team: SB+GB Corona Survival (4)

Joey Ward
Raised $6,720 from 56 donations
Atlanta, GA
Emily Ward
Spencer Gomez
Team member
Raised $300 from 3 donations
Jessica Granger
Team member
Raised $200 from 2 donations
This team raised $7,143 from 59 other donations.

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