Salem restaurant gives back to community while waiting to rebuil - KPTV - FOX 12

Salem restaurant gives back to community while waiting to rebuild after fire

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A Salem restaurant that closed because of a fire reopened on Tuesday, and while they waited to rebuild, employees took the time to give back.

The Sassy Onion had a fire in November that shut down the business for a while. So while waiting to rebuild, the owners of the restaurant decided to put the spare time to good use.

They told each employee if they donated at least half the time they would usually be working to a charity, they would receive a full paycheck from the Sassy Onion until the restaurant was back up and running. That is how the hashtag #sassyfiresback got going.

Fox 12 spoke with the general manger about the owner's idea to put in volunteer time instead of work, and he said it came as a relief to many employees worried about making money during the holidays.

"They wanted to do what they could to keep the team together and to provide," said general manager Art Obendorf. "I mean, it wasn't that far before Christmas and we had a lot of employees that … you know, those first couple days that were freaking out and going, 'How am I going to pay my bills and Christmas is coming’ and so it was just good to get support from our bosses."

Now that the restaurant is rebuilt, there are a few changes. Instead of more table and chair seating, the owners opted for more booths. 

And in case you were wondering, restaurant workers volunteered for 15 organizations and clocked in 1,500 hours of volunteering time.

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