BOSTON (WBZ NewsRadio) — Thousands of service industry workers are currently unable to work due to the coronavirus pandemic. In response, the Boston restaurant community has banded together and established two ways to support the city's service industry employees.
One option is a fund that offers $1,000 grants to Boston's tipped workers, and the other is a website that randomly matches individuals with a local service industry worker who they can tip after pouring themselves a drink in quarantine.
After the state's bars and restaurants moved to take-out or delivery only, the Greg Hill Foundation teamed up with Sam Adams Breweries, and notable Boston-area chefs Ming Tsai (Blue Dragon), Ken Oringer (Little Donkey) and Chris Coombs (Boston Chops.) The group is "raising awareness and funds to provide grants to full-time restaurant workers in Massachusetts who are dependent on wages plus tips to cover basic living expenses and provide for their families."
In a statement, the organizers said "our goal is to provide $1,000 grants to as many qualifying grantees as possible. Sam Adams is kickstarting the Restaurant Strong Fund with a donation of $100,000 and a commitment to match donations through 3/31 up to an additional $100,000." As of Saturday, the fund was up to nearly half a million dollars.
In order to apply for a $1,000 grant, workers must be "Full-time tipped compensated employee (Minimum of 30 hours total per week, can be multiple restaurants,) employed for 3 months or longer at the same location, worked in a restaurant, bar, cafe or nightclub located in Massachusetts, and must submit the last two pay stubs received." Click here to apply.
There is also a virtual tipping website where locals can go to be randomly matched with a Boston service industry worker in need. The service industry site asks that "Every time you have a drink at home during social distancing, consider tipping a local service industry worker through Venmo or Cash App."
The site then provides a button users can click and tip a randomly selected local restaurant worker who has also signed up. Click here to donate or apply.