"Virtual Tip Jar" helping area service workers

300 bartenders, waiters, and other hospitality workers hoping to benefit from City of Good Neighbors

Mike Baggerman
April 03, 2020 - 12:14 pm
Getty Images

Getty Images

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WBEN) – Carolina Martinez is a bartender at Lockhouse Distillery, Ballyhoo, and Casa Azul in the City of Buffalo and is among the hundreds of hospitality workers without a job thanks to the coronavirus pandemic.

While browsing the internet one day, she came across a virtual tip jar that was created in another major cities and brought the idea to Buffalo to help those who, like her, are struggling to get by financially.

“You log on whenever you’re having a drink and it will randomly choose someone that’s signed up to receive a tip,” Martinez said. “It will then direct you into Venmo to give whatever you’re comfortable giving as a generosity in these times.”

Like many who have lost their jobs, she is among those struggling financially. Those receiving a tip will get a notification on their phone and she hopes that the City of Good Neighbors will come through.

“A lot of us work for small business owners and we worry about them as well. When this is all over, we want to go back to our jobs because they are like our second homes. There’s also that uncertainty that you don’t know if that’s going to happen again because you don’t know if they are able to open their doors.”

Visit Buffalo Niagara President and CEO Patrick Kaler said that upwards of 300 people in the service industry have participated in the virtual tip jar.

“The app lets people know that we’re thinking about them and we’re looking forward to the day we can be back full-time, full-service, and seeing them in their place of business,” Kaler said.

A link to the tip jar can be found here

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