In the wake of unprecedented challenges of COVID-19 and the resulting quarantine, Mercato’s Savory Fund, along with portfolio restaurant founders from Mo’Bettahs Hawaiian Style, Swig and R&R BBQ, announced two new programs designed to sustain each brand’s full-time employees and feed other unemployed workforces laid-off from companies throughout the state.
The food establishment founders have joined forces and committed $250,000 each to create a $1 million fund designed to keep their 1,600 employees throughout Utah, Arizona and Idaho paid and working during this time of uncertainty.
“We are immensely proud of our founder-partners and their team members for their courage and efforts in this moment of change,” says Andrew Smith, Managing Partner of the Savory Fund. “Where other companies are being forced to cut and slash hours, we want to keep our employees working and provide them with a paycheck to help sustain life. Most of our investors are Utah based investors and this also gives them a way to support the community in which they live.”
All R&R BBQ, Swig and Mo’Bettah’s Hawaiian Style locations in Utah, Arizona and Idaho remain open for drive-thru and curbside pickup dining options during this time of social distancing.
In addition to the fund, the group of restauranteurs, along with Costa Vida, is now providing dinner Relief Packs. For only $25, customers can order a hot meal that can then be donated to recently laid-off employees, those people working on the front lines in the healthcare industry and other essential businesses working overtime, or others who might be in need of a healthy meal or a simple pick-me-up. “We believe ‘Food Is Love’ and we want to share love during this time when things seem so bleak,” said Smith.
“There is a tremendous amount of people in this state who are laid off. We wondered what the best way was to help them eat for a very affordable amount,” adds Smith. “With these Relief Pack meals, we can help the community eat well, stay healthy and stay home, but also keep our employees working to help the economy as well.”
Relief Pack meals come in three options: enchiladas with all the fixings from Costa Vida, a shredded barbecue pork meal with sides and dinner rolls from R&R BBQ and a 12-piece teriyaki chicken dinner with rice and macaroni salad from Mo’Bettahs Hawaiian Style. Each meal generously serves six to eight people.
“The purpose is to support business owners, church congregational leaders, government offices and any that are needing help out there,” says Dave Rutter, CEO of Costa Vida.
Currently, Relief Packs are being served to more than 1,000 people per day, with the goal to feed 8,000 per day by March 30. Individuals, small companies and church leaders looking to help alleviate some financial strain on their furloughed employees or struggling congregants can enroll in this program and purchase meals at a highly reduced price at ReliefPacks.org. Businesses or investors interested in donating funds for these meals can sign up on the same website and click on the Relief Packs Partners button to learn more.
For more information about the $1 million stabilizing fund, the companies involved or the Relief Packs, visit reliefpacks.org or Mercatopartners.com