Donald Trump may have won the White House with his aggressive push towards nationalism and right-wing populism, but, despite the success of his D.C. hotel, his campaign has done severe damage to the trump brand.
One of Trump’s most famous hotels, Trump Soho, has been one of the locations hit the hardest by the anti-Trump backlash. Several NBA teams and several members of the Cleveland Cavaliers refused to stay at Trump Soho.
Now, the hotel’s restaurant is shutting its doors and the company that manages the restaurant, Koi, says that election is responsible for the decline in customers.
‘Obviously, the restaurant is closing because business is down. I don’t think anyone would volunteer to close a business if they were making money. Beyond that, I would prefer not to speculate as to why, but obviously since the election it’s gone down.’
Some might assume that this is a problem specific to Koi’s brand, but no other Koi locations are being shut down and the company has even said that they hope to reopen elsewhere in Manhattan. Jonathan Grullon, who has worked as a busser and host at the restaurant for more than a year, said that he had customers tell him they would stop coming if Trump won the election.
‘Before Trump won we were doing great. There were a lot of people we had, our regulars, who’d go to the hotel but are not affiliated with Trump. And they were saying “If he wins, we are not coming here anymore.”‘
Ricardo Aca worked as a server for four years before leaving in February due to declining pay. He said that after the election his pay fell from about $20 an hour to $15. In order to make ends meet, he was forced to get a second job while working at Koi. Aca also noted that celebrities such as the Kardashians stopped coming into the restaurant.
Grullon noted that his wages have also declined by about $200 each week and that he is also working a second job.
Aca isn’t the only person to leave the restaurant. Grullon said that Koi currently employs about 10 people, including kitchen staff, and that he does not expect the restaurant to remain open until its proposed closure date of June 18.
‘We’ve been getting cut all the time. There is no reason for us to be there. They say they’re going to close June 18, but I think it’s going to be sooner.’
Perhaps Aca and the remaining Koi Soho staff will be able to transfer to the Bryant Park location which is still doing well.
As satisfying as it is to see Trump take a hit, it is frustrating that his racist xenophobic campaign has endangered the livelihood of his employees. Hopefully, they’ll be able to find work for a better employer.
Featured image via Getty Images.