By Lori Fredrich Senior Writer Published May 28, 2020 at 6:16 PM

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The world is changing rapidly for area bars and restaurants, most of which have been forced to adjust their operations in myriad ways to face the challenges of COVID-19.

Nearly all have cut hours for workers. Many have laid off a high percentage of their work force. Some – including large mult-unit groups like The Bartolotta Restaurants, Hospitality Democracy and The Lowlands Group – have chosen to close their doors completely while trying their best to provide for workers while waiting for government assistance.

Others remain open, offering carry-out and delivery services to muster the minimum income needed to keep their bare-bones operations running. As a result, restaurant and bar workers are experiencing sudden – and devastating – financial challenges. Workers who rely on customer tips to make up the vast majority of their incomes have found themselves in crisis.

Restaurants have rallied, reaching out to governmental officials about their urgent concerns for support. But, in the meantime, they are relying on friends, neighbors and community to offer support.

If you’d like to make a difference, here are some simple things you can do. 

Take action

Give to Service Industry Funds

National Relief Funds

I will be adding to this list as additional opportunities arise. If you know of a fund or means for assisting workers, please email me at with details.

Lori Fredrich Senior Writer

Lori Fredrich (Lo) is an eater, writer, wonderer, bon vivante, traveler, cook, gardener and girlwonder. Born and raised in the Milwaukee area, she has tried to leave many times, but seems to be drawn to this quirky city that smells of beer and alewives.

Some might say that she is a little obsessed with food. Lo would say she is A LOT obsessed with food. After all, she has been cooking, eating and enjoying food for decades and has no plans to retire anytime soon. 

Lo's recipes and writing have been featured in a variety of publications including GO: Airtran Inflight Magazine, Cheese Connoisseur, Cooking Light, Edible Milwaukee, Milwaukee Magazine and the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, as well as on the blog Go Bold with Butter, the web site Wisconsin Cheese Talk, and in the quarterly online magazine Grate. Pair. Share.