Well-known Pasadena restaurateur Abel Ramirez has started a GoFundMe page to help pay his employees.
Ramirez said while he agrees the severe restrictions on businesses are “the correct course of action to help preserve the health of our patrons, our staff, and the greater Pasadena community,” he said “that decision has come at a cost.”
The volume of business from take-out and delivery orders is insufficient for Ramirez to continue to pay for the team which has made El Portal’s regular “dining experience a great one – servers, dishwashers, bussers, cooks, bartenders.”
Those workers have seen elimination of or deep reductions in work hours, Ramirez explained.
“These team members — many of whom you, like us, consider family — are the people who are being hit the hardest,” he wrote.
“Therefore, we have started this Go Fund Me drive to help support the staff that makes up the backbone of El Portal and Yahaira’s Cafe. We sincerely hope that our many friends and longtime patrons come together to support those who are most in need,” Ramirez wrote.
As of Monday morning, the campaign has raised $2,100. Ramirez hopes to raise $12,000.
City officials have called on local residents to continue to support local businesses. The “Safer at Home” orders issued by Gov. Gavin Newsom, the County of Los Angeles calls on local residents to stay in their homes, but allows them to leave to get food.
This is the first known account of an online fundraising campaign by a Pasadena business to help pay employees.