Visit Buffalo Niagara (VBN) has partnered with the local hospitality industry to help put a couple of bucks into the pockets of workers who are now unemployed. A Virtual Tip Jar has been created, where people can support the staff of Buffalo hotels, restaurants, bars, breweries, distilleries, etc.
The way this works is simple. Workers in the industry submit their names to the site. People eating and drinking at home can send tips along, just as if they had eaten out at a local restaurant. The tips are processed through Venmo and Cash App. Every time someone clicks on the Virtual Tip Jar website, a different unemployed hospitality industry is features, so you can see the exact person that you are tipping, which is very clever.
“These employees are the bedrock of Buffalo’s hospitality industry and need our help right now,” VBN President and CEO Patrick Kaler said. “Every time you make your bed, grab a beer from the fridge, cook a meal or prepare a drink, consider leaving a tip for those workers normally engaged in those tasks who are out of a job. Every little bit helps, and this is one more way for the City of Good Neighbors to step up and help their fellow Buffalonians during these challenging times.”
Hundreds of unemployed workers in service and tourism-related businesses, who would typically be relying on tips to pay their bills, have already signed up on the website.
“The thought of someone sending an act of kindness is exactly what we need in times like these,” said Carolina Martinez of Lockhouse Distillery, one of the page’s co-creators.
Visit ServiceIndustry.tips to donate or sign up if you’re an affected hospitality employee – each of the submissions is reviewed and vetted, co-creators of the Buffalo page, staff members from Lockhouse Distillery and a local Longhorn Steakhouse, along with VBN staff. Buffalonians can make donations directly to employees through their Venmo (iOS and Google Play) or Cash App (iOS and Google Play) mobile payment account listed on the website. Donors and recipients will need a smartphone in order to use the donation site.