Resources for Restaurant Employees

With the escalating COVID-19 crisis, many of our dedicated foodservice and hospitality employees are being severely impacted. We know this is an incredibly difficult time for you and your families and are committed to supporting you through these uncertain times. We encourage you to check out the below resources for help, guidance and support.

Tracy Kosbau

For more information, contact:

Tracy Kosbau, MBA | Vice President of Marketing and Public Relations

Piggy Bank


Full-time or part-time employees may be entitled to unemployment benefits. Here is a link from the Department of Workforce Development explaining COVID-19 and unemployment insurance. Anyone can apply, but eligibility depends on the circumstance of each employee.

Unemployment Guidelines for COVID-19

When should I apply and what will I need?

Check out DWD’s easy-to-follow guide that walks you through the process.

More Info

Where can I get more information?

Visit the DWD website at Or for help using online services, call 414-435- 7069 during business hours.

Milwaukee Night Skyline

Milwaukee Eviction Protection Program

Hope House received $2.3 million in Cares Act funding through Milwaukee County to be used for Eviction Prevention. If you rent in Milwaukee County and have experienced a loss of income due to COVID or the Safer at Home Act, Hope House may be able to assist with rent and utilities through the end of the year. Service industry workers are one of the primary targets for these funds. Even someone working a part-time job experiencing the loss of that job, will likely still qualify. The first step to qualify is to email

The following items are needed to qualify:

  • The last payroll stub before job the loss proving employment
  • Furlough letter
  • Lease including tenant name, landlord name and address to remit payment to, amount of rent and signatures of both parties
  • If you are behind in rent, a letter from the landlord itemizing balance
  • Unemployment print out (login>view benefit payment history>print benefit summary>PDF)
  • Latest WE Energies Bill/water bill if applicable

Restaurant Employee Relief Fund

In the face of the COVID-19 global pandemic, the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation (NRAEF) set up the Restaurant Employee Relief Fund to help restaurant industry employees experiencing hardship in the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak.

The fund will provide $500 grants to restaurant industry employees who have been financially impacted by COVID-19, whether through a decrease in wages or loss of employment. Individuals must meet eligibility requirements. 

Due to an overwhelming response of more than 60,000 applicants, the Restaurant Employee Relief Fund is not currently accepting new applications. The National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation team is working hard to respond to applicants and process applications. They have awarded more than 25,000 grants to date.

Apply or Donate Online

Please follow the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation on Facebook or on Twitter at @NRAEF for the most immediate information, how to apply for this fund & for any other questions you may have regarding this.


Mental Health Resources

Managing Anxiety and Stress (CDC)

Disaster Distress Helpline

Coronavirus Anxiety Tips and Resources (ADAA)

  • Sanvello - Self Care Resources
    #1 rated app for stress, anxiety and depression. (free)
  • Active Minds – Resources to stay mentally healthy during this crisis time. (free)
    Access a free resources hub for help during the COVID-19 pandemic including stress management, community building from a distance, tips for remote workers. Access general resources now. 
  • PatientsLikeMe - The world's largest personalized health network helps people find new treatments, connect with others and take action to improve their outcomes. (free)
    Access a community for anyone concerned about symptoms and/or diagnosed with COVID-19, as well as anyone suffering from anxiety and depression, to come together and discuss coping mechanisms and support. Hospitality specific landing page & resources. 
  • PsychHub - the most comprehensive online learning platform on mental health, substance use, and suicide prevention topics in the world. (free)
  • Optum Substance Use Disorder Helpline (free)
    In crisis? Call 1-855-780-5955 or visit for immediate help anytime from anywhere.
  • Optum Emotional Support Helpline (free)
    Need a little support? Call 1-866-342-6892 for help anytime from anywhere.
  • Crisis Text Line (free)
    In crisis? Text HELLO to 741741 for immediate help anytime from anywhere.
  • Ben’s Friends - Hospitality-focused substance abuse support network (free)
    Join a safe environment with others who understand the unique challenges experienced by people on the front lines in restaurants, hotels, and other hospitality industries. Click here to find a meeting near you or access telephonic meetings.

Support Resources

Project Recovery

How to Protect Yourself (CDC)

Wisconsin Home Energy Assistance Program

Free Prescription Card

Feeding Wisconsin Food Banks 

Fox Valley – Assistance Signing up for Health Insurance –  BadgerCare or Marketplace

For employees currently without health insurance, the Partnership Community Health Center in the Fox Cities provides free assistance with enrolling people into BadgerCare or the Health Insurance Marketplace. 

COVID Enrollment Outreach

COVID Enrollment Outreach Spanish