Man goes 'all hands' on deck to help Raleigh restaurant workers without jobs from COVID-19

RALEIGH (WTVD) -- If you've driven down Wade Avenue in Raleigh, you've likely noticed the unique home sitting next to the overpass at 301 Wade.

More recently, the yard of that home has been filled with blue and white signs that read "All Hands Raleigh."

Curiosity got the best of us - what do those signs mean?

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Marshall Davis owns the home. He also owns restaurants throughout the Raleigh area. He started All Hands Raleigh after COVID-19 left a lot of those in the service industry without an income.

"I started All Hands as a grassroots benefit to kind of help those people," Davis told us. "They are the heart and the spine and the muscle of this industry. If they don't survive this, restaurants don't survive."

Specifically, Davis is focused on those in the restaurant that patrons don't normally see - the back of house workers.

Davis says the programs and grants left a lot of back of house workers vulnerable and without the help they needed.

"I was realizing that over half of our staff initially was not getting assistance for a multitude of reasons and we know the system's kind of clunky and kind of hard to navigate. It's been hard for me to navigate, so I can only imagine how difficult it would be for someone if English was not their first language."

Potentially hundreds of back of house workers were impacted in Raleigh alone.

All Hands is focused on the immediate community.

"If we don't get this core group back into our industry, I think that we will see thirty percent of our restaurants close," Davis says.

In May, Davis is shifting focus a bit to an even bigger campaign called "Kitchen Care." It's 150 restaurants in downtown Raleigh trying to meet a big fundraising goal in a single week - all to benefit back of house workers.
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