Eater reports that the staff at Jack the Horse are furious at the owners for using GoFundMe donations to pay bills instead giving the money to workers unemployed when the restaurant closed as part of the Covid-19 shut-down. Update: several former JtH employees have commented on the Eater piece, calling it unfair and not representative of their feelings about the owners or their actions.
The original GoFundMe campaign was featured on this blog in March, including a quote from the website:
We know you missed us during the past weeks but sadly we have had to close our restaurant doors until further notice. During this time we are raising money to support the staff at Jack the Horse who will be out of work due to COVID-19.
According to Eater, $200 was disbursed to each employee after donations reached $5,000; as funds continued to accumulate, owners Tim and Micki Oltmans stopped communicating with the staff. After receiving an e-mail from employees the Oltmans responded to say that the donations had gone “toward other bills,” including vendor payments and insurance bills.
“We never said that the funds were exclusively for the employees,” Oltmans tells Eater. According to Oltmans and his wife, they felt that the statement of purpose on the GoFundMe page — even though “it wasn’t a hundred percent clear,” Oltmans says — allowed for them to use the donations for both staff support and reopening efforts.
Get the rest of this dismaying story at Eater…