Restaurant offers pays it forward meals to first responders, health care workers

Food and Drink

HURON, N.Y. (WROC) — Many local restaurants are offering take out trying to make ends meet during this time of social distancing.

But one local restaurant in Huron is helping those on the front lines of this crisis. The owner at Pier Fifty-Three Brick Oven has started a pay it forward program at his restaurant. People can call in and buy a meal for those who are on the front lines, battling the coronavirus — first responders, health care worker, senior citizens, or someone who has lost their job.

When someone calls in to buy a meal, it’s then fully paid for and ready for someone to pick up whenever they want to.

Owner Bryan Ritter said it’s not only a way to bring in money to help his restaurant stay open, but it’s also a way to help those who are struggling and give to those who are helping.

“It’s good to see these people call in it makes us feel good, makes them feel good, it’s good to see when the customer comes in to pick up the free meal. People do care sometimes it just takes something like this to bring out the best in people,” he said.

He said the idea came from a friend who wanted to donate to the restaurant during this tough time.

“I wasn’t a big fan of just taking somebody’s cash for nothing, I wasn’t looking for that and we came up with this pay it forward thing and he donated $200 to start it off and threw it out there to public safety, medical staff, the guys that are out working 20 hour days right now,” said Ritter.

Since he shared a post on Facebook about the program, Ritter said he has sold around 70 meals. Everyone who donated asked to stay anonymous.

The restaurant has gotten donations from people as far as Florida, Arkansas and has even gotten donations from competing restaurants.

If you want to contribute, you can call 315-587-1003 and all orders and payment with major credit cards can be done over the phone. You can also donate a meal online.

“If it’s busy, we will call back. If we don’t answer, leave a message and we will call you right back. We are short staffed obviously, and we may be cooking or delivering. So if we don’t answer right away, we will call you back,” Ritter said.

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