WASHINGTON — Popular D.C. Restaurateur, Erik Bruner-Yang, cooked up a crowdfunding campaign to help both the restaurant industry and those struggling to put food on the table.
"Half of my restaurants have closed, 85% of my staff has been laid-off," Bruner-Yang said. "Then, I had this re-energizing, of 'how can I help my neighborhood stay intact, how can I serve my community?'"
Bruner-Yang is the chef behind Toki Underground, Maketto, Brothers and Sisters, Spoken English and ABC Pony, just to name a few. He started The Power of 10 initiative as a restaurant revitalization plan.
Here's how it works. You can donate $10 to cover the cost of one meal and labor.
The goal is to get $10,000 a week to hire 10 chefs at a restaurant, who will in turn make 1,000 meals for a nonprofit organization serving their community.
Erik says this is another option for restaurants unable to provide delivery and take-out services.
"I can utilize the Power of 10 model, partner with a non-profit and distribute 150 meals a day through that funding," Bruner-Yang said. "Then I can still be a part of the solution and have a solution for myself."
The Power of 10 has already raised $8,000 after officially launching Thursday.
The first restaurant to benefit will be Cane, in Northeast D.C. Those funds will help people living along the H Street Corridor.
Bruner-Yang plans to test out the program at two of his restaurants as well.
"For me, this has been a good emotional motivation and distraction to get up every day, hit the ground running and keep my team motivated," he said. "I feel pretty good."
Bruner-Yang wants to keep this going for at least eight weeks, or until the federal and local governments roll out their programs and distribute funding to help these small businesses.
You can help here: Power of 10 Initiative