The Salt Lake City Mayor's Office, Downtown Alliance and Ty Burrell — star of "Modern Family" and local resident and business owner — announced the "Tip Your Server" program Friday, which will provide $2,000 grants to employees who have been laid off from restaurants or bars in SLC due to the pandemic or earthquake.
Burrell and his wife Holly are part-owners of Bar X and Beer Bar, and they have contributed $100,000 to the effort.
Our hospitality industry is really hurting from restaurant & bar closures due to the pandemic & earthquake. I’m proud to partner with local business owner/actor Ty Burrell and @DowntownSLC on a fund to assist food service workers. Visit https://t.co/NVobWFQGCO to help #utpol #slc pic.twitter.com/X2kFQBjBuG
— SLC Mayor Erin Mendenhall (@slcmayor) March 20, 2020
An estimated 15,000 people are employed by Salt Lake City's food and beverage industry, according to the announcement from the program's organizers.
“Salt Lake City is a truly special place and our heart is with you," Burrell said. “We’re hopeful that during this time, when so many restaurant and bar employees are facing uncertainty, that this effort can provide a small bit of relief."
Burrell, the city and the Downtown Alliance — a nonprofit that represents business and property owners in the Central Business District — formed the program shortly after Burrell approached the groups.
“I know the workers in the restaurant and bar industry are hurting right now and we’re working to help,” said Mayor Mendenhall. “Our hope is that this grant program will help food and beverage industry employees make ends meet while businesses are forced to make these incredibly difficult decisions.”
The process to apply for the program will be announced by March 25, the announcement stated.
More information on the program can be found on the Downtown Alliance's website, and donations can also be made to the effort there.
"We are moved by Ty Burrell's generosity and know that there are many others who want to pledge support for our food and beverage worker friends,” said Downtown Alliance President and CEO Derek Miller. “Additionally, I would like to challenge everyone to join me in taking the "pick up pledge" and pick up three meals this week from your favorite local restaurants."