How to Tip Boston Restaurant Staff During the COVID-19 Pandemic – Eater Boston

Restaurant News

With Massachusetts restaurants now required to shut down until at least April 6, except for delivery and takeout service, countless restaurant industry workers are suddenly out of work. As diners are looking for ways to support their favorite restaurant staffers, Eater Boston will be collecting a running list of fundraisers, staff Venmo accounts accepting virtual tips, and other opportunities to help staff weather the storm in the coming weeks or months before their restaurants reopen. Email [email protected] with any updates.

See also:’s list of relief funds for restaurants, bars, and food service workers nationwide.

General Fundraisers

  • Behind You Inc: “Our organization had previously been focused on restaurant employees who were out of work due to injury but we’ve temporarily pivoted [to those whose work is impacted by COVID-19]. We’ve raised about $45,000 so far but getting new requests at the rate of about one per minute and the money won’t last long.” Donations are being accepted via Paypal, Facebook, and Venmo. Food service workers who live or work in Beverly, Salem, Marblehead, Lynn, Peabody, or Swampscott can apply for aid here.
  • Emergency Funds for Boston-Area Service Workers: Organized by Gabby Bonfiglio and Emily Beaulieu, who work at a Cambridge brewery “where many of our friends have just lost their positions and major source of income. It is devastating not only to us, but to so many others in this industry. We wanted to do something locally and immediately to support our community.” Donations accepted here, and those who want to apply for funding support should do so here.
  • Help Camberville Hospitality Workers: Local bartender Naomi Levy (you may know her from her many years at Eastern Standard; most recently she’s been relaunching Variety Bar at Bow Market in Somerville) is offering custom cocktail creation for free via Instagram (send a message), tailored to the ingredients you have around the house. She’ll also be posting other free content, such as basic bartending tutorials. In exchange, she’s asking that those who can donate please give to this fundraiser in support of Cambridge- and Somerville-area hospitality workers. “All money raised will go directly to hospitality workers in need,” says Levy. “I will be starting off by supporting the hospitality workers at Bow Market and expanding from there. Hospitality professionals that are in need and would like to request funds can do so by filling out this form. Additionally I am offering up assistance with budgeting and financial planning which can also be requested through the form.”

Fundraisers for Specific Restaurants

  • Alden & Harlow and Waypoint: “Starting [March 17] for the next month, gift cards for Alden & Harlow and Waypoint will be 20% off. The proceeds of these gift card sales will be used to offset the costs to provide critical needs for tipped wage and back of house hourly teams (approximately 100+ people) while we are without any income. Examples of what will be provided are raw food, prepared meals, medication, essential family needs (diapers, soap, shampoo, formula, etc.), paper products, and toiletries. This purchasing, distribution, and decision-making will be made by a select group of our managers and our hourly employees as to be fully transparent to our staff. We will also soon be circulating information on local funds for a wider swathe of industry and funds geared directly to undocumented workers here in the Cambridge area.” Alden & Harlow gift cards here, Waypoint gift cards here. 40 Brattle St., Harvard Square, Cambridge; 1030 Massachusetts Ave., Harvard Square, Cambridge
  • Backbar: The Somerville bar is running a raffle, with proceeds supporting the staff while they’re out of work. Prizes include Backbar merch, gift cards, a drink of the week customized for you, weekend reservations, a Treadbetter dinner for two, and more. Tickets are $10 each; buy as many as you want via Venmo (@backbarunion). Drawings will occur every Monday and Friday until the bar reopens. The raffle tickets can also be purchased on Backbar’s website (along with merch and gift cards). 7 Sanborn Ct., Union Square, Somerville
  • Brewer’s Fork: “All proceeds will benefit our staff members who can’t work while we’re closed. We appreciate all who have donated already. We’re so grateful for the generosity and love.” @Brewers-Fork 7 Moulton St., Charlestown, Boston
  • Coppa: 50% of proceeds from gift card sales between now and April 30 will go into a staff fund to help financially support employees during this time. Order online. 253 Shawmut Ave., South End, Boston
  • Estragon: “For those of you who are part of our Estragon family, you know that many of our staff have been with us for several years, and seeing the same faces each time you’ve dined with us has, we think, enriched the time you’ve spent with us. Just as you have been loyal guests, our staff have been loyal employees, standing with us through good times and bad. The funds we raise here will be entirely distributed amongst our front of house staff and our kitchen crew, to help them cover their fixed expenses during the weeks we are closed. No donation is too small, every dollar counts. We understand that everyone faces economic uncertainty in the weeks to come but if you feel you can make a contribution, know it will make a difference. We thank you for your ongoing support.”
  • Forage: “We’ve set up a Venmo account if anyone would like to help our service staff that is getting hit the hardest to help them with rent and utilities. The money will go directly to those loving faces that have served you so well. You can find that account on Venmo @foragecambridge.” 5 Craigie Circle, Cambridge
  • Levend Bagelry: “The funds will be distributed to the employees who work so hard to feed our city!” @Levend-Bagelry 100 Hanover St., Boston Public Market, downtown Boston
  • Panificio: Raising funds for staff via a Gofundme campaign. “We all want to be safe and healthy, we will follow the guidance of the people in charge of the viral outbreak mitigation. We will try to provide food for the neighborhood as long as it remains a financially viable way to remain open. As we will be ceasing ALL sit-down service in the restaurant, it will be hard on our team with this loss of business .If you would like to support us it will be greatly appreciated, we will make it through this.” 144 Charles St., Beacon Hill, Boston
  • Parlor Sports and Trina’s Starlite Lounge: “Feeling hopeless about how to help your favorite line cooks, prep cooks, dishwashers, hosts, servers, and bartenders? We have set up a Venmo account that will get distributed amongst our amazing staff! @TrinaStarlite-ParlorSports.” 1-3 Beacon St., Somerville
  • Purple Shell: 50% of gift certificate sales will be divided among staff. Call (617) 989-9982 or email [email protected] to purchase. 11 W. Broadway, South Boston
  • Rebel Rebel: “We’re doing our best to buoy everyone for the long haul, but we’d be lying if we said we weren’t staring down the summer and wondering when we’ll be able to serve you again. If you’re at home having a glass and happen to think of us, maybe send a little Venmo love our way — we’ll collect and redistribute the funds among the team ❤️ Thanks as always, we love you.” @rebelrebelfund 1 Bow Market Way, Bow Market, Union Square, Somerville
  • The Sevens Ale House: “Many of you have been asking how you can help, and we couldn’t be more thankful for your patronage and thoughtfulness. We are truly lucky to be a part of this community. We have set up a GoFundMe account that will be distributed amongst our staff. We will see you on the other side of this, with a cold one waiting for you.” 77 Charles St., Beacon Hill, Boston
  • Troquet on South: Matt Marini is selling a limited inventory of shirts and racerback tanks with this pineapple design for a $30 recommended donation. “Proceeds will be divided among everyone at Troquet. Support and represent the hospitality industry with its symbol plastered across your chest. In the Venmo note include: 1. Shirt or tank 2. Preference of black or grey 3. Size 4. Address if you want it shipped. You can also pick ‘em up at Troquet. If you don’t have Venmo and want to donate — let me know. We’ll figure it out.” @Mattteeeooo 107 South St., downtown Boston
  • True Bistro: The option to donate to True Bistro’s employees is available through the online ordering system. 1153 Broadway, Teele Square, Somerville
  • Tuscan Brands: “While entering this time of the unknown, it is Tuscan Brands’ mission to ensure that their cherished team is able to rest assured that they have their support as well as that of their communities. Effective [March 16] through April 6, Tuscan Brands will be donating 25% of all gift card sales to their staff who are often reliant on gratuities and unable to work due to the closures. Gift cards may be purchased by visiting:” Tuscan Kitchen, 64 Seaport Blvd., Seaport District, Boston, and other locations
  • Veggie Galaxy: “We will pass along to our staff 100% of the proceeds from gift cards sold while we are closed. To purchase, please go to and click the first FAQ. Thank you; stay home and be well.”

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