During the COVID-19 pandemic, Augustino’s Rock & Roll Deli witnessed success with its fast-casual restaurant concept, while traditional sit-down restaurants faced closures.
During this time, diners nationwide showed increased generosity by tipping generously in support of the struggling industry.
Although not accustomed to accepting tips previously, Augustino’s Rock & Roll Deli customers insisted on gratuity for the staff upon pick-up of their orders.
Cathy and Jerry Morelli faced a dilemma regarding the distribution of the tips. They pondered whether the food preparers, cashiers, or restaurant cleaners should receive them.
Moreover, Augustino’s Rock & Roll Deli utilized the Pandemic Relief Funds responsibly by using them to pay their staff instead of laying off employees.
Despite facing challenging times, Cathy and Jerry Morelli voluntarily reduced their own pay to ensure their staff at both locations received their full salaries.
Augustino’s Rock & Roll Deli Culture
Cathy and Jerry Morelli have always been committed to paying their staff members above the Illinois state minimum wage standards.
While the minimum wage for workers over 18-years-old is $13, teenagers earn a mere $10.50.
The restaurant’s generous salary combined with an exceptional work culture encourages longevity, with teenagers often staying for years and adult employees remaining for decades.
Augustino’s Rock & Roll Deli Pays It Forward
Thanks to well-compensated employees and customers who insisted on tipping, the Morellis and their staff collectively decided to redirect the surplus funds to assist those experiencing food insecurity during the pandemic.
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Due to the kindness of their clientele, Augustino’s Rock & Roll Deli has donated over $10,000 to date through this practice.
Currently, the restaurant allocates all received funds to The Hundred Club of DuPage County, a charitable organization that provides support to the families of first responders who have lost their lives while on duty.
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