Date: Mar 2020
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With 15.6 million workers, the hospitality industry represents our country's second-largest private employer, according to NPR.

Millions of workers have lost their jobs due to necessary closures.

The threat to the survival of the restaurant industry struck a chord with the team at DS Projects, a creative agency based in New York. They were moved not only by the specter of widespread unemployment and the loss of a restaurateur’s business, but also because of the cultural and social impact these closures will have on the community.

In New York City, restaurants are the lifeblood of the city. It’s frightening to imagine a world where well over 50 percent of the venues that have closed will never reopen. So the team decided to do whatever they could to help them fight to see another day.

Because of the Covid-19 crisis, founder Dylan Hattem says the agency is now deploying its marketing skills to raise money for a Relief Fund for Restaurants by launching a campaign that is unfiltered, relatable, and engaging.

The message, 'Bought This T-shirt and Stayed the F* Home' was conceptualized by DS’ strategy lead, Cassandra Aaron, and designed by Josh Greenstein, and underscores the CDC's advice to practice social distancing.

The campaign targets those 18-35 to help raise money for businesses in the hospitality industry, specifically restaurants. Custom merch will be sold on an e-commerce site, starting 26 March, providing another revenue stream for restaurants. Fully 100% of the profits accrued by DS Projects will go to participating restaurants. The funds will be distributed evenly between all restaurants involved.

Merch: Each restaurant partner will have their own T-shirt with its logo on the front and the slogan on the back, which will be available as censored or uncensored versions. The idea is to create a pool consisting of both established restaurants and up-and-coming restaurants to attract a larger audience, with the hopes of increasing sales. Shirts and tote bags without logos will also be available for sale.

Influencer Collaboration: Samah Dada, @dadaeats worked with the team on initial concepting & strategy behind the campaign. Her role was instrumental in navigating the landscape, helping to collaborate with partners, and using her social media platforms as a positive voice to bring light to the campaign.