We’ve heard this story before: restaurant employee X is riding home from his shift on his bike when he gets side swiped by a car. Because X works at a restaurant, which usually does not supply benefits, X does not have insurance and is faced with a mountain of medical bills. Since the restaurant industry is one big happy family, there is usually some sort of fundraiser involving music and booze, and X lives happily ever after. A new local non-profit is helping streamline this process by providing monetary relief and insurance solutions for restaurant professionals.
Un86’d was founded by Nicole Ess and Jessy Maguire Bolt, both currently work at Chicago restaurants. Through their network of colleagues and friend they continuously raise money via donations, running silent auctions and benefits. Long-term, they want to set up a member-based community that will be eligible for low-rate heath insurance or specialized individual plans. The name comes from the term “86’d,” used in restaurants and bars to mean that an item is cut or not longer available. Un86’d strives to make sure no employee needs to be cut out of a job.
Currently, the organization is working with Carriage House and La Sirena Cladenstina to offer two Un86’d cocktails. Each cocktail is made with Bacardi and Todd Appel’s pineapple cordial, and comes with a button with the logo of a pineapple; a symbol of hospitality that dates back to the colonial days. After purchasing a $12 cocktail, ”Wear the Word” by showing off the button and heading over to Bar Deville for a free shot of Fernet Branca. The drink specials are available until Thursday. Find out more about Un86’d on its Facebook page.
- Sarah Freeman for Zagat.com