Wisconsin restaurant takes prices off menu letting customers pay for what they can during coronavirus crisis

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BARNEVIELD, Wis. (CNN) — These are trying times for just about everyone. For those infected with coronavirus, their families and those at risk.

It’s also hard because many businesses are being shuttered and many employees are out of work.

But these trying times are bringing out the best in some people. Those looking to help wherever they can.

Take for example Cook’s Cafe in Wisconsin. The owners are throwing profits out the door to help the community.

Like all restaurants that remain open, this small town cafe relies on take-out only. But take a look at their menu, and you’ll see something different.

“It took not normal actions to throw the prices away,” owner Clifford Hooks said. “If somebody can afford that’s great if they can’t well that’s fine too, they still gotta eat.”

In an effort to help out their community, Cliff and Yvonne Hooks threw the prices out on their entire menu. So those struggling with unemployment or their businesses closing down can still afford to eat.

“We cannot do this by ourselves, we can only do it with other people’s support,” Yvonne Hooks said.

Now as the cafe pushes its priceless menu, its customers responded by paying through donations.

“They also trust us to know that the money will go to where it’s needed,” Yvonne Hooks said.

After those donations cover the costs to keep the cafe’s doors open, the Hooks turn around and donate the rest of their money to their community, covering anything a family may need from gas to paying for rent. Anything to get through these tough times.

“Taking care of people is a lot more fun than worrying about profit and loss and marketing,” Clifford Hooks said.

“Couple weeks ago I think everybody was hating everybody else,” Yvonne Hooks said. “For no particular reason let’s just hate everything. And all of a sudden, it’s just a little bit kinder. A little bit more loving. A little bit more caring. And that’s not a bad thing to be.”

The sacrifice has turned Cliff and Yvonne into full-time volunteers as they try to change their business classification from an LLC to a nonprofit. Their top priority is letting anyone in need of a meal know they are there to help.


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