Blue Ribbon restaurants will be closed Thursday in support of A Day Without Immigrants strike, confirms partner Eric Bromberg: That’s seven restaurants, and over 500 employees who won’t be going to work.
The restaurant group made the decision in solidarity with workers who are protesting the Trump administration’s increased deportations that are causing a ripple of anxiety around the country. With the international community part of the fabric of the industry, restaurants would especially feel the impact.
“This is not a casual decision,” Bromberg says of the closings, citing the financial impact it will have on the company and staff. “But there are times in life when money isn’t the most important thing.”
Staff started discussions on Monday to assess how many employees would not be going to work. Those absences, as well as the company’s support of the cause, led them to the decision to close. “We stand 100% behind our employees — whether they are immigrants or born in America, back of house or front of house,” reads the group’s statement. “When employees who haven’t missed a day of work in nearly 25 years come to you and ask for a day off to march against injustice, the answer is easy.”
Eric, Bruce, and Ken Bromberg have been running restaurants in New York for going on 28 years. “We are part of the fabric of New York City,” says Bromberg, noting “the enormous ups and downs” that his restaurants have gone through, from the recession when “staff took pay cuts to keep businesses open” to September 11th.
Though Bromberg says his restaurant group is “apolitical — we are in the hospitality industry,” he says “when we take care of people, that includes our employees.”
Other restaurateurs are operating with fewer staff tomorrow, such as Tom Colicchio at Fowler & Wells:
If members of my team decide to protest I will support their decision. https://t.co/v3mjoU7p85— Tom Colicchio (@tomcolicchio) February 15, 2017