Coronavirus: Some LA restaurants provide workers with relief amid COVID-19 restrictions, shutdowns

LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- While Los Angeles restaurants can still fulfill takeout and delivery orders, restaurant workers are being hit hard with the safer-at-home order that was announced Thursday.

One restaurant is selling its some of its food inventory at cost, while another was given a generous donation to help feed other restaurant workers.

Under the city of Los Angeles' new restrictions, no one will be dining at the restaurant -- these meals are for takeout.

"It's effectively cut our business down to like 10 percent, so we had to let go all of our staff," said Ted Hopson, chef and owner of the Bellwether in Studio City.

Empty SoCal restaurants pivot to delivery, takeout orders amid COVID-19 rules
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Most restaurant dining rooms across Southern California are empty of customers due to health department orders. But many people who have found grocery store shelves bare are still being fed by their favorite eateries.

Hopson said he's paid his workers for this week but without money coming in, in two weeks he won't be able to make payroll or pay rent for his business.

Like most restaurants, Bellwether maintains a large inventory of food.

With community residents struggling to buy basic groceries at stores, Hopson realized he could help them and bring in some extra income.

"We're offering all of our inventory to all, of our regulars, everyone in our community saying if you can't get milk, eggs, chicken we'll give it to you at our cost," he said.

Restaurant shutdowns to curb the spread of coronavirus have left numerous restaurant workers unemployed.

Nancy Silverton is co-owner of well-known restaurants including Osteria Mozza and Pizzeria Mozza. The group has partnered with Maker's Mark, the whiskey company providing a $50,000 donation to fund a food-relief operation.

Three-hundred to-go dinners will be given away nightly to restaurant industry workers in need.

"We're going to be giving two meals per person and two kinds of shelf stable toiletry, baby-friendly items as well. We'll let them choose," said Silverton.

Ted Hopson said many of his staff members have worked at the Bellwether for years. He's fighting to save their jobs and his restaurant.

"Right now there's not a clear path to how we get through the coronavirus scare, we're trying to build that day by day," Hopson said.
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