US: Hospitality start-up Sonder has announced a partnership with Lyft and Off Their Plate to help support US restaurant workers.
The company has committed to donating meals, and committing five meals and a $50 credit towards a stay with each booking made through a special link.
As the global pandemic has spread across the United States, most restaurants have been forced to close, with many food service employees either let go or on furlough. As the industry has lost around $80 million in sales, eight million workers have found themselves without work.
Off Their Plate was founded in response to this, hoping to use the currently unemployed workforce to provide meals for key workers while providing economic relief from restaurants. The company has partnered with a number of top chefs and restaurants, including J. Kenji Lopez-Alt’s Wursthall in San Mateo, and Ris Lacoste’s Ris in Washington DC.
For Sonder, this partnership has added meaning due to the key role its operations manager, Cassandra Lewis, played in launching the organisation in Washington. Lyft’s role is to provide transportation to key workers via free ride credits alongside bikeshare memberships.
Lara Birkes, head of partnerships at Sonder, said: “We’re thrilled to partner with both Off Their Plate and Lyft to support local restaurant and healthcare workers across the country, who are still in need of incoming business and fresh food. By making it easy for Sonder guests to opt in to support this effort for stays at any point in the future, we look forward to bringing travellers along with us on this journey to get behind a truly meaningful cause.”
Earlier in the pandemic, Sonder cut a third of its workforce in order to keep costs down. The company has also reportedly been in discussions with various firms over a possible investment of $150-175 million.