John Rich Vows To Pay Redneck Riviera Employees Throughout Bar Closure
“We decided it’s people first, and business can wait…”
John Rich of Big & Rich; Photo by Andrew Wendowski
John Rich is one of the many Nashville bar owners forced to close doors to their establishments due to the coronavirus pandemic. The closures have left many without work for the foreseeable future, thus, leaving many without the income they depend on.
Rich doesn’t want his employees to stress over the loss of their paychecks. The singer, songwriter and successful entrepreneur recently shared that he plans to continue to pay his employees at Redneck Riviera and he believes other bar owners should follow suit.
“With no money coming in, obviously all the money moving around is going in one direction, and that’s out,” Rich told The Tennessean. “And you don’t know how long that’s going to be for. It could be for a few months, potentially. But I would urge, and I would even go so far as to challenge other business owners on Broadway in my entertainment bar/nightclub sector, to reach into your pocket and take care of your people …
“Are you going to tell 75 to 80 people, ‘Sorry guys, good luck out there?’ No. I actually know my bartenders and my servers and my sound guys and managers. I know those people, and it’s just not going to happen.”
When it comes to those who make the majority of their living from tips, Rich says he plans to “find that average over the last two or three months and that’s what they’re going to get paid.”
As for the musicians, they are able to continue to play via live-streamed performances with tipping via Venmo.
Rich has also vowed to stream a weekly concert as well, with all of his tips going directly to the artists and songwriters who play at Redneck Riviera on a regular basis.
The Big & Rich star isn’t the only country singer who has stepped up to help his staff following the bar closures. Dierks Bentley announced that all 90 hourly employees of Dierks Bentley’s Whiskey Row would be receiving $1,000 after the bar closed its door earlier this week. Florida Georgia Line followed in his footsteps, offering $1,000 to the 117 employees at FGL House.
Rich said he decided to continue paying his employees because he isn’t sure $1,000 will be enough.
“We decided it’s people first, and business can wait,” he explained. “If we need to go into the red for a while to make sure people can pay their rent and buy their groceries and put gas in their car, then by golly, that’s what we’re going to do.”
Fans can visit the Redneck Riviera Facebook page to view the live performances.
Lauren Jo Black
Lauren Jo Black, a University of Central Florida graduate, has immersed herself in the world of country music for over 15 years. In 2008, she co-founded CountryMusicIsLove, eventually selling it to a major record label in 2015. Following the rebranding of the website to Sounds Like Nashville, Black served as Editor-in-Chief for two and a half years. Currently, she assumes the role of Editor-in-Chief at Country Now and oversees Country Now’s content and digital footprint. Her extensive experience also encompasses her previous role as a Country Music Expert Writer for Answers.com and her work being featured on Forbes.com. She’s been spotlighted among Country Aircheck’s Women of Influence and received the 2012 Rising Star Award from the University of Central Florida. Black also spent time in front of the camera as host of Country Now Live, which brought live music directly to fans in 2021 when the majority of concerts were halted due to the pandemic. During this time, she hosted 24 weeks of live concerts via Country Now Live on Twitch with special guests such as Lady A, Dierks Bentley, Jordan Davis, Brett Young, and Jon Pardi. Over the course of her career, she has had the privilege of conducting interviews with some of the industry’s most prominent stars, including Reba McEntire, Blake Shelton, Luke Combs, Carrie Underwood, Luke Bryan, Miranda Lambert, Lainey Wilson, and many others. Lauren Jo Black is a longtime member of the Country Music Association and the Academy of Country Music.