SIMPSONVILLE, SC (FOX Carolina) - A restaurant in simpsonville is stuggling to pay their employees so they are asking for your help.
Arizona Hand Crafted Fare and Drink Company is hoping you will buy gift cards that will help make up for the lack of tips that they are missing out on since their dining areas are closed.
They are also selling their inventory so that you don't have to deal with busy grocery stores.
The owner is hoping the community will remember local businesses. Shopping local is crucial to keeping this businesses open after this pandemic has come and gone.
We are at the risk of losing a restaurant that's been here for more than 20 years.
This is one of several empty restaurants, with no one to serve and no tips to help compensate their wages.
"It’s kind of all crashing in on us all at one time." says the owner and operator Alexandra Briceno, "This restaurant has been in my family since day one."
Briceno tearfully reminisces saying, "I was 10 years old coming to eat at the first Arizona Steakhouse on Woodruff Road and I don’t want to see this place fail because of something like this."
Alexandra gets a little emotional thinking about what all is at stake right now that the COVID 19 pandemic has shut their doors to dining in.
Arizona Hand Crafted Fare and Drink Company is also known as Arizona Steakhouse.
She continues tearfully, "We are trying and we are doing everything we can. The only reason we are asking her folks to come in and buy gift cards is to help us do that. I don’t want anyone to think that we are just asking for a handout or saying that it’s not my responsibility to pay our staff. I just can’t meet their needs with what I have on hand"
"Tomorrow [Friday] and saturday any gift card purchase, it could be $5 or it could be $500, it doesn’t matter what it is I am going to give it all directly to my staff," pledges Alexandra.
Those gift cards will help the servers who are currently working limited hours with curbside service only because she says "We are a family and our family is just hurting right now."
They are also selling their inventory in hopes of helping the employees and the people who are stuck at home.
She hopes that those who run out of stockpiled groceries will "realize that they can come here. We will sell groceries to you and you won’t have to deal with the crowds and we hope that will get us buy for now. You buy it from us and you have far fewer people touching it then you do at the grocery store."
She hopes this pandemic doesn't lead to the community losing their small business. "You will see a lot of us have to close because we won’t have a choice."