Two Dallas restaurants, Mot Hai Ba and Petra and The Beast, are the beneficiaries of a newly-launched Initiative to help locally-owned, independent restaurants who may have been overlooked by federal aid programs.
The Power of 10 program was launched by Washington D.C.- based chef Erik Bruner-Yang in March with a simple goal — for $10,000 a week in donations, a restaurant can re-open, employ up to 10 full-time staff and make at least 1,000 meals for frontline workers and communities in need. Bruner-Yang paired with Indie Chefs Week, an organization that promotes independent restaurants by putting on culinary events, to pick the restaurants, which in Dallas included beloved Vietnamese joint Mot Hai Ba and farm-to-table standout Petra and The Beast.
Peja Krstic, chef at Mot Hai Ba, said the Power of 10 money allowed him to rehire staff that had to be furloughed in the midst of training for his soon-to-open second location in Victory Park.
“We started and ended our training on March 16, “ he said. “This gave us an opportunity to hire all that staff back who were supposed to be working at the new restaurant.”
Krstic said that in one day of cooking last week, his crew made more than 333 meals, which were delivered to organizations in Dallas that feed the food-insecure, as well as meals benefitting the United States Bartenders Guild, many of whose members have been laid off during the coronavirus pandemic. Both restaurants were serving curbside and takeout food. before getting the grants.
Bruner-Yang launched Power of 10 in March 26 after realizing the United Sates was on the verge of a food crisis due to the economic shutdown. The initial effort started with 15 restaurants, most of which were in the Washington D.C. area. A recent donation by Capital One bank allowed the program to expand to 15 more restaurants, including Mot Hai Ba and Petra and the Beast. More than $750,000 in funding has been received since the program began, and collectively, the restaurants have donated more than 24,000 meals.
• Power of 10 Initiative [Power of 10]