NJ restaurant takes out $50,000 loan to keep employees paid, so please order all their baked ziti

Illustration for article titled NJ restaurant takes out $50,000 loan to keep employees paid, so please order all their baked ziti
Photo: simona flamigni (iStock)

With restaurant owners scared they’ll have to shutter, and employees being laid off in scores, some have questioned how the restaurant industry can survive this period of discord. Luckily, there are people like Bryan and Michael Morin out there. The co-owners of Federico’s Pizza and Restaurant in Belmar, New Jersey took out a $50,000 line of credit to keep their employees paid during the quarantine. Now that’s what supporting your workforce looks like, baby!


New Jersey ordered all restaurants to become takeout-only operations last week, and to remain so “until further notice.” While the takeout-only model keeps kitchens (mostly) staffed, front-of-house workers are out of luck—and often out of a job. Not at Federico’s, though. With a 50k line of credit, the Morins can keep their 20 employees on the payroll for two months. “My father told us a long time ago: You’ve got to take care of your employees first, because without those employees, you don’t have a business at all,” Morin told NJ.com. “I definitely owe them a debt — even if it means I might go into debt.”

Federico’s, nestled in a beach town on the shore, is a classic New Jersey pizza place with a menu full of subs, ravioli, calzones, cheesecake, and a couple obligatory salads. It looks good as hell, and in my brain it’s basically Bob’s Burgers. So if you’re in the Belmar area, give a hat tip to the Morins in the form of purchasing a dozen or so chicken parms. And some angel hair pasta. And some baked ziti. And a “Grandma’s Pie.” Fuck it, order the whole menu.



I saw one restaurant owner complaining that his servers weren’t getting their usual 15% tips on takeout. I thought it was sorta naive to assume that takeout customers tip the same way dine-in customers do. I’ll bet if he looked at the takeout tipping history, he’d see it’s about the 5% he indicated.

Sure, we should be doing more to help the folks who are out of their regular income, but the tip was always for some level of service, which takeout doesn’t provide.

Another restaurant near me just added a 15% tip upfront for takeout. That bakes it into the price and you know upfront what you are paying. That makes more sense than relying on the “goodness of others.”