MILWAUKEE — As Wisconsin goes on eight months battling the pandemic, a local restaurant group is taking the time to help out healthcare workers with a free meal.
Lowlands Group restaurants Buckatabon and Cafe Centraal gave out free brunch Sunday to healthcare workers. It may seem like a small gesture but went a long way.
"It's nice to know the local businesses are out here supporting healthcare workers and want to make sure we're taken care of and appreciated," Dr. Paul Otto, a local medical resident said.
Otto says he frequently pulls 80 hour work weeks. It can be a lot to take on during the pandemic but on this off-day, a free meal does wonders for morale.
"It's pretty crazy," Otto said. "Hospitals are getting full. It's important we continue to do the things we're doing to keep everyone safe. There are a lot of good people working on the front lines to keep everyone healthy."
Knowing how important it is to keep medical workers like Dr. Otto going, Lowlands Group gave away dozens of free meals.
"We're super happy to support healthcare workers in our community," Tyler Nation, General Manager at Buckatabon said. "We wanted to provide them with brunch on us."
In Bay View, Centraal Cafe saw the impact this gesture had.
"They were so grateful," Allison Richter, Bar Manager at Centraal Cafe said. "It kind of seemed like a little bit of a weight off their shoulders to have breakfast covered."
It may seem like a small token of appreciation, but remember, the service industry has taken a gigantic blow from the pandemic. Estimates say a third of restaurants could close for good in the next six months if things do not improve with the coronavirus. Regardless, they felt it was necessary to get a free meal to the healthcare heroes because it could go a long way in making sure they can keep their doors open.
"I think this past week was rough," Richter said. "I think we're all feeling it a lot and just wanted to show appreciation. I was on the phones and handing out orders all day. They were in such good spirits. It was really great. We all kind of needed it a little bit."