Giving back in a big way! Tom Sandoval and Tom Schwartz have seriously “stepped up” and done their best to take care of their TomTom staff as the coronavirus outbreak continues and the trendy bar remains closed.
A source close to the Vanderpump Rules cast tells Us Weekly exclusively that Sandoval, 36, and Schwartz, 37, who co-own TomTom with Lisa Vanderpump and Ken Todd, have been “amazing” during the ongoing health crisis, adding: “They have stepped up in a surreal way. They are constantly checking in on the staff and keeping in very close contact with everyone.”
In addition to being a source of emotional support for their out-of-work employees, the duo have also procured a significant amount of money for them. “They’ve even raised more than $50,000 that has gone directly into their staff’s pockets,” the insider continued. “They are constantly thinking of creative ways to help out and everyone has really felt the bar is like a family and they are all in this together. It’s very much a team effort, and the staff is so grateful.”
Last month, the Pump Rules stars joined Cameo and announced that all of the money they made from the platform, which allows people to receive personalized greetings from various celebrities, would be given to their staff. The restaurateurs, who charged $150 per Cameo, also said they would match all donations up to $10,000 using their own money.
“Tom and Tom not only talk the talk, but they walk the walk. They don’t run when things get bad. They fight for their staff, their bar and they are amazing leaders,” the source told Us, noting that Sandoval’s girlfriend, Ariana Madix, and Schwartz’s wife, Katie Maloney, have “been huge presences” as well.
“It’s made everyone feel really thankful and uplifted during such insane times,” the source said. “The staff is really thankful that Tom and Tom are in charge.”
However, the insider also told Us that despite dedication from the Toms, the employees at all of 59-year-old Vanderpump’s restaurants are “really struggling.” In addition to TomTom, the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills alum owns SUR, Pump and Villa Blanca in Los Angeles. She also has Vanderpump Cocktail Garden in Las Vegas.
“Fans think even the TomTom staff basically just work there for fun and they’re all loaded. This just couldn’t be further from the truth. The staff is made up of struggling actors, musicians, people who came to L.A. for a dream and are making ends meet in the meantime by making drinks, washing dishes, serving food, you name it,” the source explained. “Sure the exposure at one of Lisa’s restaurants helps — but that doesn’t mean they are loaded. The people working long shifts, being paid a normal server fee, trying to make rent, cannot be compared to the Stassis and Kirstens of the world.”
Over the past several weeks, multiple SUR staffers have had to turn down requests for money from fans in need. In March, SUR waitress Scheana Shay had to beg fans to stop sending her Venmo requests for funds, telling them “I am not rich.”
Earlier this month, Raquel Leviss had to take similar steps when she noted in an Instagram caption that she is now unemployed and is in no position to be lending a hand to fans. “Unfortunately I’m not in a place to donate to individuals at this time,” she explained. “I feel horrible about that.”
The insider confirms that most of Vanderpump’s employees can’t comply with these requests, telling Us: “So many people have been being bombarded on social media DMs by fans asking for money. The staff can’t afford this. They are the ones who really should be asking for help too.”
The source concluded: “This pandemic has really been the great equalizer.”
Given the constantly evolving nature of COVID-19, Us Weekly wants our readers to have access to the most accurate resources. For the most up-to-date coronavirus information, guidance, and support, consult the CDC, WHO, and information from local public health officials. If you’re experiencing coronavirus symptoms, call your primary care provider for medical advice.
With reporting by Emily Marcus
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