COVID-19: Resources for Restaurant Workers

We're all in this together

Every day brings new information and developments regarding the COVID-19 pandemic and our industry has been one of the hardest hit. There are still many questions around the severity of the outbreak and the short- and long-term ramifications it will have.

The health and safety of Georgia's restaurant owners, workers and customers is always a top priority of our organization. The restaurant industry is one of the most highly trained industries in matters of disease transmission and prevention. Our industry and our employees are highly regulated, and we are already utilizing proven methods to prevent the spread of disease. Currently, there is no evidence to suggest that COVID-19 can be transferred to humans through food. Continue to follow sanitation procedures outlined in the Georgia Food Code

If you test positive for COVID-19, contact the Georgia Department of Public Health at 1-866-PUB-HLTH (1-866-782-4584).

Filing Unemployment

NEW Information for filing for unemployment

Regular Unemployment Insurance (UI)

Instructions for Filing An Unemployment Insurance Claim

The Georgia Department of Labor (GDOL) is temporarily suspending all in-person requirements for services provided by the agency. We strongly encourage individuals and employers to conduct GDOL-related business online to protect yourself and our staff from potential exposure to COVID-19. Select Online Services for a complete list of available services.

Filing an Unemployment Claim Online

You will need your:

  • Social Security Number
  • Georgia Driver’s License, if applicable
  • Bank’s routing number and your account number (if you want to receive your benefit payments via direct
  • deposit)
  • Work history information for the last 18 months

Follow these steps:

  1. Select the link labeled Apply for Unemployment Benefits on the GDOL Home page.
  2. Answer the questions completely.
  3. Download and read the Claimant Handbook. Information in this handbook provides detailed instructions regarding the unemployment insurance (UI) program and “Next Steps” to follow after submitting your claim.
  4. Record your Confirmation Number. A confirmation email will be sent to the email address provided when completing the claim application. (If you do not receive a confirmation number, the application was not successfully completed. It remains on the system for 24 hours. Log in again and make sure you select FINISH to receive a confirmation number.)

After you file, your next steps are to

  1. Request your weekly benefit payment every week, starting the first Sunday after filing your claim by selecting Claim Weekly UI Benefits Payments on the GDOL Home page or calling the Interactive Voice Response (IVR) System at 1.866.598.4164
  2. Monitor your voicemail and email closely for messages from the GDOL.
  3. Respond immediately to all requests for additional information.
  4. GDOL will contact you if it is necessary for you to complete an Applicant Status Affidavit (DOL-1054A). You will not have to go to a career center.
  5. Download and complete the affidavit in its entirety.
  6. Mail the affidavit and an enlarged, legible copy of your valid government-issued picture identification to the career center you selected on your claim. Select Find a Career Center or use the address indicated in the email request.

If you have claimed a week of benefits and have not received your written determination of eligibility, Claims Examiner’s Determination within 21 days of the filed date, you may call UI Customer Service immediately at 404.232.3001 (in Metro Atlanta) or 1.877.709.8185 (in all other areas).

Food Assistance

Department of Human Services (Georgia Food Stamp program)

Georgia Food Bank Association

Atlanta Community Food Bank has initiated a phone-based program to find nearest food pantries.


Student Meal Pick-Up Information By School District (Georgia Public Broadcasting)

Utility Assistance

Georgia Power has suspended utility shut offs for 30 days.

Atlanta Gas Light has suspended service disconnections until April 13 and offers resources to customers.

Comcast is offering free internet for low-income households, enables free Xfinity wifi hot spots around the county and has no disconnections or late fees for 60 days.

AT&T is not terminating any wireless, home phone or broadband service, is waiving late payment fees, removing data caps and is keeping wifi hotspots open for free. Full details available here.

Georgia Utility Assistance

Rent & Mortgage Assistance

President Trump directed the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to suspend evictions and foreclosures through April as Americans grapple with the fallout of the coronavirus.

Georgia Rent Assistance

Other Assistance & Relief Efforts

United Way Greater Atlanta COVID-19 Response and Recovery Fund

  • United Way has partnered with the Community Foundation of Atlanta to establish the Greater Atlanta COVID-19 Response and Recovery Fund. People can access help by dialing 211 or visiting the website: To locate community resources during the Coronavirus crisis (including food pantries and child care provider referrals) click on the "Disaster" category, then on the "Coronavirus" subcategory.

Another Round, Another Rally

  • Hospitality financial resource nonprofit Another Round, Another Rally is offering $500 relief grants for hospitality workers who lost their jobs or have had their hours slashed due to coronavirus. Anyone in the hospitality industry is eligible and grants are distributed via a variety of cash apps and services.

Lift Your Spirits

  • The National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation is operating a “tip your bartender” campaign that will raise cash for foodservice industry workers whose livelihoods are significantly impacted by COVID-19. Those who wish to participate must make a video of themselves mixing their favorite drink and toasting those affected in foodservice and hospitality; post the video to social media with #LiftYourSpirits; challenge friends to participate as well; and send a “tip” donation to the Association's Educational Foundation.

Restaurant Workers’ Community Foundation

  • This emergency fund is geared towards individual restaurant workers undergoing financial hardship due to the coronavirus. The fund is also providing zero interest loans for businesses to maintain payroll during closures or reopen once the virus begins to recede.

One Fair Wage 

  • One Fair Wage’s Emergency Coronavirus Tipped and Service Worker Support Fund serves to give cash assistance to any service industry employee who needs it. The program is open to restaurant workers as well as delivery drivers and others. Workers who are already members of One Fair Wage or who sign up and participate in a confirmation interview will be qualified to receive assistance.

Unite Here Education and Support Fund

  • Unite Here is amassing funds to cover vital needs for hospitality workers who have been laid-off or made underemployed by covid-19. The group’s funds are used for maintaining family health insurance; food, rent, and utilities; replacing lost wages; and retraining for new jobs during the business downturn.

Go Tip ‘Em

  • Go Tip ‘Em gives people the chance to help a bartender affected by the coronavirus by donating to a virtual tip jar. All donors need to do is post a photo of a beer, wine, spirit, or cocktail on social media with #gotipem, select a bartender from a list on the Go Tip ‘Em site, and then send any amount to that bartender’s preferred payment service.

Spill the Dish

  • Spillthedish was designed to assist foodservice workers in locating healthy and supportive restaurant work environments. Now, the service is redirecting its efforts to support restaurant owners, donors, and employees with a database of funding opportunities available to those in the industry. Users can search specific results and even break them down by state.

USBG Bartender Emergency Assistance Program

  • The U.S. Bartenders Guild is running a covid-19 relief campaign that awards bartenders and their families with grants. The funds are available to even those who are not USBG members and bartenders, bar backs, bar servers, or anyone else engaged in the service of alcoholic beverages can apply.

Assistance for those who have tested positive for COVID-19:

Delayed Tax Filings & Student Loans

The deadline to file federal and Georgia taxes has now been extended to July 15, 2020. This will provide immediate relief to those with pending tax liabilities or access to complete returns. Student loans payments have been suspended for 60 days. Learn more.

Drivers License Renewal Extension

All valid GA driver’s licenses and ID cards with an expiration date between now and June 30, 2020, will receive an extension by a period of 60 days. Learn more.

Multilingual COVID-19 Information

Multilingual Coronavirus Information


GK Food Service Workers Group for Metro Atlanta

Rev (Transcription Jobs)

Juvo Jobs

Remotive (Start-up Jobs)    

Amazon is Hiring Delivery Drivers

Walmart is hiring 150,000 new associates through the end of May to work in stores, clubs, distribution centers and fulfillment centers. Apply by visiting or text JOBS to 240240 to get started. (Atlanta, Alpharetta, Macon, Savannah)

mental Health

Free QPR Suicide Prevention Training for Food Service Workers Nationally

Care for Your Coronavirus Anxiety

Metropolitan Counseling Service (Metro Atlanta)

Care and Counseling Center of Georgia (Dekalb County, GA)

Waters Edge Counseling (Savannah, GA)

Family Recovery of Southwest Georgia (Albany and Valdosta, GA)

The Family Center (Columbus, GA)