PAY IT FORWARD: Helping restaurants amid pandemic

FOX 5 DC has continued to report on area restaurants struggling under the weight of the pandemic.

Now, a new survey released by the National Restaurant Association found nearly 1 in 6 will close either permanently or long term over the next few months. That translates to over 100,000 restaurants nationwide.

The statistics are staggering and with many jurisdictions shutting down dine-in options for customers it’s going to be a very tough Christmas for many food service employees.

Rhachelda Mitchell, District Manager for Hook and Reel, says they’ve really had to pivot during the pandemic, having to cut staff from 40 to just 12 employees at their Woodmore Towne Center location alone. 

“It’s been very difficult for our restaurants across the region. We are just hoping our customers will continue to support us through carry-out and catering options until we can get this behind us,” Mitchell says.
The latest Health Department order will shut down Hook and Reel’s and all other food establishments in the county dine-in eating Wednesday, December 16th at 5:00pm.

Assistant manager Brittany Pearsall says the impending shutdown of indoor dining will really impact employees, many of whom are still struggling after the first round of restrictions.

“When I worked as a lead server I could typically make $1,000 in tips a weekend. Now our servers are lucky to make $200 in tips a week,” Pearsall shared.

Kevin McCarthy and the FOX 5 Pay It Forward Crew wanted the employees at Hook and Reel to know we support them and are hoping they will be able to weather this storm.

We were able to give the nearly 30 employees who will be laid off when the dining room closes $50 gift cards to Safeway, Target, or Amazon provided by Easterns Automotive Group