A lawn care business run by restaurant employees

SCHAUMBURG, Ill. -- The employees at Fat Rosie's restaurant in Schaumburg are still at work, but they're not cooking or bussing tables.

Instead, they're mowing lawns, picking weeds or doing other needed lawn work in different neighborhoods.

"It kind of happened overnight," Fat Rosie's Assistant General Manager Michael Garcia said. "I was expecting to do one or two houses a day with a couple of people but it turned into something completely different."

Now Garcia and his crews go to at least 10 homes a day, all around the Chicagoland area.

Their lawn care business, 86 Work, was created to help supplement employee's income once COVID-19 closed the doors of Fat Rosie's. The restaurant is only serving food curbside, so many of its employees aren't getting the number of shifts they normally would.

"Now that we're looking at this, it's going a lot longer than we thought. It's a little scary," employee Destiney Hernandez said.

In the beginning, Garcia and his small team started with one lawnmower, a rake and a car. Soon, the Schaumburg community caught wind of their mission and even started donating tools to the crews.

"Right now we have maybe 10 lawnmowers, four weed whackers and a whole bunch of stuff that none of us knew how to use," Garcia said. "I was a little taken aback."

Garcia said he isn't sure how long they'll keep up business, but he's hopeful 86 Work can continue helping the staff for as long as it's needed.

For more information, visit Fat Rosie's website.