Wyandotte restaurants’ tab paid, employees earn restaurant profit


Joe's Hamburgers Facebook Page

Joe’s Hamburgers promotional image for the 12 Days of Christmas- giving back the profit to their employees.

Wyandotte restaurants have had a tremendous outpouring of support from the community during the COVID crisis due to pandemic restrictions shutting down all indoor dining in the state of Michigan.
Local businesses such as Bobcat Bonnie’s and Major Biddles have created outdoor dining pods to adjust for pandemic dining guidelines and still retain adequate business. These measures seem to have proven successful, according to restaurant employees.
“We’ve had a really hard time adjusting, but we’ve also completely changed how we do business,” senior Major Biddles employee Reilly Gomez said. “I’ve definitely seen a decrease in available shifts, but at the same time business is nonstop.”
Other restaurants are taking a different approach, such as Whiskey’s on the Water. On December 7, 2020, they announced on their social media that they would be giving 100% of their profits straight back to their employees through Christmas.
Whiskey’s on the Water has since continued this effort into 2021, and inspired other local restaurants such as Joe’s Hamburgers. Joe’s ran a promotion called “12 Days of Christmas” which gave all of the profits to their employees for the twelve days prior to Christmas, according to their Facebook page.
Local business owner Todd Hanna owns multiple businesses in the Downriver community, with his newest being Pizza King in Wyandotte. He has a unique outlook on the COVID crisis and how it has affected the restaurant, retail, and real estate industries.
“COVID has been a real struggle for many businesses. I know several business owners in Wyandotte that will not make it,” Hannah said.
Hanna has been able to see the COVID crisis swipe over the city as both a lifelong resident and business owner. Along with Pizza King, Hannah also owns an Allstate branch in Brownstown, as well as a rental company in Wyandotte.
“We haven’t had much of an issue adapting to COVID standards, especially social distancing at our Allstate locations.”
Hannah has also been finding innovative ways to pay it forward to local businesses that are struggling. Last month, he personally covered the tabs of three local restaurants; Joe’s Hamburgers, Whiskey’s on the Water, and Oak Cafe.
The meals were pre-paid and ready for customers to call in and order from 11 am-8 pm on December 12. Customers could order up to two meals per household.
“I believe the good intentions are there [from the federal level], but the money that is being given out is only going to sustain business for a few more months,” Hanna said. “I think we’re going to see about 40-50% of small businesses in this state close,” said Hanna.
Hannah is not the only one giving back, he has also inspired others like Joe Migglicacio to pick up local tabs as well across the city of Wyandotte. However, with indoor dining restrictions set to expire on February 1, time will tell on how these businesses manage to come back to life.