Seattle Tip Jar launches to help servers, bartenders, baristas during COVID-19 closures

A couple guys in Ballard have set up a website to help out local bartenders, servers, and baristas during the coronavirus shutdown: it’s called the Seattle Tip Jar, and allows you to tip your local hospitality workers while they aren’t able to work.

Ballard resident Matt Bowers and his friend Justin Farris set up the website, which Bowers says was inspired by a similar site in Portland, the PDX Tip Jar, set up by a friend of Bower’s. The PDX Tip Jar version has been successful, with over 1,700 workers registered and plenty of tips already given.

Here’s how it works: a restaurant/bar or individual can sign up as a recipient, and set up a Venmo, Paypal, or Cashapp account to receive funds. Tippers can choose a service worker at random to tip, or can browse the list of those who have already signed up. The tip money goes straight to the worker.

“Seattle Tip Jar is an opportunity to share a small act of kindness with our Service Industry community during these uncertain times,” the website reads. “Since Governor Inslee issued a ‘stay-at-home’ order on March 23rd, thousands of servers, bartenders, baristas and other service industry workers have been laid off or furloughed.”

Bowers says he’s reached out to many Ballard restaurants, but hopes to see the site gain traction and support workers across the city.


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