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If you spent your weekend anything like I did, you were on your couch, quelling your dread about the state of the world by eating take-out, drinking wine, and watching endless hours of Netflix’s new hit docu-series Tiger King. That also means you’ll be as delighted by this story as I was.
One restaurant owner in Indiana used the world’s newfound obsession with Tiger King‘s Joe Exotic to help raise money for his employees during the COVID-19 outbreak.
FoxGardin owner Jake Burgess initially suspended operations after restaurants in the state were ordered to close their dining rooms. This would force his 147 employees at his four locations and his food truck to be temporarily out of work, according to the Indianapolis Star.
Jake decided to hold a livestream to raise money for his employees where customers could buy gift cards and donate to the employee fund. He also promised that if 1,000 people watched the video that he would get a haircut that resembled Joe Exotic’s. The video got more than 3,000 views and the cut commenced.
Hairstylist Carly Sparks cut his hair right there on the livestream while one of Joe Exotic’s songs played. She later posted a photo of herself expertly styling his hair into a truly heinous bleached ‘do. It’s really something!
“This is so ugly,” she acknowledged during the stream. “From a hair stylist’s point of view, this is ballsy. So ballsy.”
The stream raised more than $3,000 and though he now has a pretty bad haircut, Jake says it was all worth it. “If I can dye my hair with a friend of mine who gains a little attention and we can have a little bit of fun and help them, that’s what we’ll do,” he said.
Luckily, the restaurant has now been able to open one of its locations for carry-out and delivery (on a side note, the food looks so good I got jealous while writing this, so if you live in Indiana, get on it!). The employees have since turned that into its own Tiger King-themed challenge.
“If we get 268 carry out orders by 8pm Friday, #JakeExotic will pierce his eyebrow just like #JoeExotic. Let’s do this,” a photo on its Instagram read.
“Whoa. Whoa. Whoa. Who made this post?!?” Jake commented on the post. Guess we’ll have to tune in Friday to see what happens!
If you’re looking for another way to support the establishment and its team, you can still donate to the employee fund on Venmo @foxgardin with “employee donation” in the memo. If you’re a fan of Carly’s Joe Exotic-inspired look, you can also buy gift cards for the salon Wicked Scissors after choosing a stylist.