Drink at home, tip a (furloughed) service industry worker anyway


Be your own bartender, but help another professional one weather their current unemployment. - MATTHEW SCHNIPER
  • Matthew Schniper
  • Be your own bartender, but help another professional one weather their current unemployment.

Though Colorado's allowing the sale of to-go liquor as an economic response to the coronavirus pandemic, many bartenders are still out of work due to the cessation of on-site consumption of food and drink.

A local guy, Aaron Maynard, has helped launch a platform where we can assist some of those folks, called Help the Colorado Springs Service Industry.

How it works is a random industry worker's name will appear as you pull up the page, and you'll have options for tipping them. From the page:

Every time you have a drink at home during social distancing, consider tipping a local service industry worker through Venmo or Cash App.

Right now, service industry people are severely impacted by social distancing and quarantine. Lower amounts of patrons and restaurants closing will be tough on everyone. Every little bit helps.

If you are a service industry employee in the area who's lost work, there's a form at the bottom of the page to become one of the beneficiaries.

I emailed a bit with Maynard to find out more about the effort. Here's what he had to say:

Indy: What’s your connection to the industry? Are you just a faithful diner/drinker or did you have friends who lost jobs?

Maynard:  I was in the restaurant industry for almost 15 years as a server, bartender and manager. I now work in restaurant technology at Synq3 Restaurant Solutions here in Colorado Springs. My wife has been in the industry as long as I have and was managing at Old Chicago until she was laid off last week.

Indy: What gave you this particular idea for this model?

Maynard: A friend of mine in Chattanooga, TN (where I lived for 13 years until we moved here six months ago — my wife grew up here.) came up with the idea. I jumped at the chance to bring it out here. In just over a week, they have added 70 cities and have had over 3 million views!

Indy: So the selection of who to tip is random, folks can't choose their favorite person, right?

Maynard: Yes, it is always a random server to spread it out to as many as possible. In the past five days, we have added over 500 bartenders and servers here in COS.

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