Q: If I have received COVID relief funds/grants/loans can I still qualify? 

A: Yes, absolutely. These funds are totally independent of any other COVID relief.

Q: What does the sliding scale payment model have to look like? Can you provide an example?

A: You can choose how to offer a sliding scale. Ponce’s offers HRK meals for $20, $15, $10, $5 and free. Each meal is worth $5 so if a customer purchases a meal for $20, they buy 1 meal for themselves and 3 meals for someone who needs the help.

Q: How do I determine who gets free meals?

A: High Road Kitchens does not require proof of hardship for anyone receiving a free meal. Donated meals are at a restaurant’s discretion – just keep track of how many have been donated. Need ideas? Think about who might be hungry. Consider working with community partners who serve people who are food insecure, or putting out a call about free shift meals for industry peers who are still out of work.

Q: What can I use the initial $5,000 for?

A: These funds are a grant for startup costs and can be used for anything you need to launch your High Road Kitchens program. It is typically used for food and packaging as well as technology solutions and/or personal protective equipment. You will not be asked to verify expenses. Just make sure the money goes toward program implementation and support.

Q: How do I set up ordering for High Road Kitchens Meals?

A: As soon as you are ready to serve your HRK meals, be sure to update your website with instructions for how to order. This can be an online order form or as simple as a phone number to call to order a HRK meal. Once your website is updated, be sure to let Mikey know and he will add your logo to the National High Road Kitchens website.

Q: What is a Wage Subsidy (and will I need to repay it)?

A: A wage subsidy is funding to off-set the cost of employee wages. You will not be required to repay it. Through an On-the-Job Training (OJT) agreement, you will receive a reimbursement of 50% of the wages you pay to each enrolled staff member. You’ll pay wages to your employees like usual (at their full rate), and then submit monthly for a 50% reimbursement up to a total pre-designated amount (typically 2 months per employee).

Q: How do I decide which staff to enroll in the On-the-Job Training (OJT) for the Wage Subsidy?

A: For staff to successfully enroll in the OJT program, they must meet certain eligibility criteria. The Business Specialist you’ll be introduced to in Part 3 will be the best equipped to determine eligibility specifics. Some staff that will not be eligible are: owners, family members of owners and undocumented workers.

Q: What should I include in my training plan for the OJT enrollment?

A:  You’ll be asked to customize a training plan for your staff around any new protocols needed to serve High Road Kitchens meals. These could be things like: COVID-19 safety precautions, shift meal preparation, how to take orders on a sliding scale, how to serve and report on free meals, etc. This doesn’t have to be complicated and you can reference this sample training plan as an example of how one restaurant has addressed the need to re-train staff.

Q: How long will this whole process take?

A:  Much of it is up to you. We are working to expedite this process as much as possible. The two lengthiest timelines are:

  1. Enrolling employees in the OJT program: we can move as fast as 1 week if you and your employees are also able to work responsively. Most restaurants take 3-4 weeks to fully enroll employees. Things to consider ahead of time.
    1. Prepare your training plan. Check out this sample as a starting point.
    2. Prepare and support your employees: pre-identify and communicate with staff early to ensure they are willing to come back to work and support them with the time they need to gather and submit eligibility documents and conduct the enrollment meeting (about 1 hour).
  2. Getting your restaurant ready to serve High Road Kitchens meals:
    1. Your program is considered operational once you have provided a way for your customers to purchase High Road Kitchens meals. You do not need to wait until OJT enrollments are complete in order to begin working on setting up a sliding scale system, online order method (web form or phone number), menu and ordering & food donation processes.