Ruth's Chris steak house was among the corporations that scored millions of dollars that were supposed to be allocated to small businesses. But according to the Wall Street Journal, those hefty loans aren't being sent to all of employees of the famous steakhouse.
Ruth’s Hospitality Group Inc., a public company which operates 83 restaurants, received the loan. There are 73 other Ruth's Chris restaurants owned by 25 franchisees.
"At least two other restaurant chains took advantage of that provision, public filings and interviews show. Brazilian steakhouse chain Fogo de Chão Inc. also got $20 million, and casual-dining company J. Alexander's Holdings Inc. received $15.1 million," said the report.
There are thousands of employees among those businesses that are suffering in the time of COVID-19, but the overwhelming majority are employed at those franchises that aren't getting the bucket of bailout cash from the president.
"We will be following all guidelines set forth by the [Small Business Administration] in how the funds are being leveraged, including payroll assurance for our team members in individual locations running our takeout and delivery business," Ruth's claimed in a statement.
"This is outrageous," the Journal quoted House Small Business Committee Chairwoman Nydia Velázquez (D-NY), who asked for an inspector general investigation at the SBA. She called the White House to release information about loan recipients to "root out any signs of favoritism and mishandling."
(Correction: A previous version of this story incorrectly stated how many restaurants are operated by Ruth’s Hospitality Group Inc.)