Felipe’s to Host ‘Cyber Cinco de Mayo’
NEW ORLEANS – From Felipe’s:
Felipe’s local and family-owned Mexican Taqueria has remained open for take-out and delivery at all New Orleans locations since Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards announced the closing of dine-in restaurants on March 16th. While many businesses have shuttered their doors and laid off employees during this uncertain time, Felipe’s has retained 75 percent of its staff and given back to front line workers due to the overwhelming support from the New Orleans community. Felipe’s has emerged as a thought-partner with many local restaurants on how to navigate the COVID-19 crisis. Though facing the obstacles of being in the hospitality and service industry during COVID-19, Felipe’s has overcome many challenges to still provide authentic Mexican cuisine and remain in good spirits while serving customers daily.
True to its mission to “throw our neighborhood a party every day,” Felipe’s commitment to the Greater New Orleans area has been paid forward with residents purchasing to-go meals and enabling the restaurant to retain employees and give back to hospital clinicians. The unwavering support has allowed Felipe’s to partner with F3 Nola, a local fitness group, for “Food for the Front Lines” delivering on multiple occasions, 150 box lunches to Oschner, Children’s, East and West Jefferson hospital. In addition to giving to front line workers, the family-owned business has been fortunate enough to remain #FelipesStrong and to provide $500 bonuses to all hourly employees during this time in addition to their regular hourly wages.
As a recipient of the Small Business Administration’s Paycheck Protection Program, Felipe’s has been able to not only retain a majority of their staff but to also provide a bonus when many of their employee’s families may now be living off of one income. “Paying back all adjusted salaries, missed profit-sharing to the leadership team for the first quarter, as well as our#FeliepesStrong bonus is a testament of our commitment to our team during this time of extreme uncertainty,” said Pike Howard, Director of Finance and Development of Felipe’s.
“If used correctly, the SBA program is a true lifeline for small businesses and has allowed us to demonstrate to our team what it means to be a part of our Company and valued.”
Team member Diana Hebert is a bartender and supervisor of Tiki Tolteca, Felipe’s-inspired Latin-American lounge located above Felipe’s French Quarter location. Hebert was pleasantly surprised that she wasn’t furloughed following the closure of all bars but rather reassigned and given the opportunity to learn how to manage the restaurant floor. “Felipe’s has made me more comfortable and secure during this time of uncertainty. I feel like a part of the family here,” said Hebert. “Being in the service industry for 11 years, it has been a very eye-opening and refreshing experience to feel supported and to receive a full salary and bonus during this time of crisis.”
Heading into May, Felipe’s is preparing for its most celebrated event of the year, Cinco de Mayo. Due to the extended stay at home order, Felipe’s will go virtual with a Cyber Cinco de Mayo complete with a Facebook live show hosted by Elio Piedra. The live virtual party will feature performance favorites from New Orleans and other Felipe’s locations in Naples, Fort Myers Beach, and Gainesville.
Restaurant manager of 5+years, Luis Solano, is looking forward to the online celebration and connecting with the neighborhood for the annual holiday. “I see how the community enjoys coming to Felipe’s during this time, finding solace here as our doors remain open,” said Solano. “We’re getting thanked for just offering to-go meals and that makes me feel good to provide great food to others while still having a stable job and supporting my family right now.” Residents will be able to stop in and pick up all Cyber Cinco de Mayo feast essentials next Tuesday.
The four-hour event begins at 6 p.m. CST on Tuesday, May 5, with performances by Jose Fermín, Will Dickerson, Mariachi Juarez International, Elio Piedra, Bailanow, and Matt Freed. To-go orders of Felipe’s Family Meal and gallons of hand-squeezed Margaritas will be available to accompany the real-time Mariachi, Salsa, Pop, Rock, Merengue, Reggaetón and Bachata acts. The Cyber Cinco de Mayo will be broadcasting live simultaneously on @FelipesNola on Facebook.