CT Checkup: Cheshire restaurant gives weekly food stipend to its laid-off staff during pandemic

New Haven

CHESHIRE, Conn. (WTNH) — During the coronavirus pandemic, restaurants remain open for takeout, but not all restaurant workers have gotten to keep their jobs. Employees of Viron Rondo Osteria in Cheshire are experiencing this first hand. But the owner is doing something to get them through.

“I would say probably 90% of our front-of-house staff has been laid off,” said Beverage Director Dimitrios Zahariadis. “My whole bar staff, myself included, the wait staff.”

But here, employees are getting a little something to make it through.  

Owner Viron Rondos decided to give members of his staff a $100 food stipend to use at the restaurant while they are out of work. His near 75 employees receive this each week. 

“You feel appreciated and that somebody is thinking about you,” said Zahariadis. “And that feels good.” 

And while this keeps staff morale up, he said they still miss seeing their customers. 

“A lot of people come here and they feel like this is their second home,” said Zahariadis. “So we tried to, through our takeout and delivery, keep that going and make everybody feel good.” 

The restaurant has their full menu available for takeout and delivery and also offers a 50% discount to first responders. 

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