Coronavirus relief funds for restaurants and bars
Sam Dan Truong / Unsplash

The hospitality industry—which ought to be near and dear to every drinker’s heart—is facing an unprecedented challenge in the wake of the Coronavirus crisis. Whether by government mandate or a voluntary decision to protect their employees and communities, countless bars and restaurants have closed for the foreseeable future, and perhaps millions of service workers will find themselves out of work.

Yes, this is the type of news that can send one straight to the liquor cabinet. But before mixing that anxiety Negroni, here’s a list encompassing some of the ways that restaurants, bars, brands, and ordinary people are joining together to help affected workers in this difficult time. Many are enlisting outside assistance, so if you can spare some time or money, you can help to ensure that your favorite bar and bartenders are still there when this is all over.

Relief Efforts

  • The USBG National Charity Foundation is raising funds for a COVID-19 Relief Campaign to provide assistance to bartenders, bar backs, and cocktail servers. Jameson has already donated $500,000, and will match donations up to $100,000 more through March 31. Diageo then chipped in a cool $1 million. You don’t have to give that much, but be sure to tip your bartenders.
  • Long Drink, who’ve canned the national alcoholic beverage of Finland, are mobilizing the Finnish concept of “kalsarikannit,” aka “pants drunk,” the feeling you get when you stay home and drink in your underwear instead of going out. Through April 3rd, if you tag their Instagram page while sharing a photo of you imbibing Long Drink at home (yes, it appears that you can wear pants), they’ll donate $10 to the United States Bartenders Guild.
  • The Greg Hill Foundation, in conjunction with Sam Adams and noted Boston Chefs including Ming Tsai, Ken Oringher, and Chris Coombs, has established a “Restaurant Strong Fund” to provide $1,000 grants to industry workers in Massachusetts. Sam Adams, which kicked in $100,000 to start, will match donations up to $100,000 through 3/31.
  • Boston bartender Naomi Levy has established a GoFundMe page that is raising funds for industry workers in Cambridge and Somerville, Massachusetts.
  • Texas’s 8020 Concepts restaurant group has launched Everybody Eats to deliver family meals to service industry professionals in the Dallas and Fort Worth area. You can donate to Everybody Eats to help them achieve their goal.
  • Local For Later, a new website, aggregates small businesses that can be supported through gift card sales online. It currently lists business in Boston, New York, Philadelphia, Portland, Rochester, San Francisco, Oakland, Seattle, and Syracuse.
  • Bit By A Fox has complied a list of GoFundMe pages established to support restaurants and bars in New York, Los Angeles, and Portland.
  • Journalist Yashar Ali has established a GoFundMe page to support hourly workers who have lost income or employment.
  • Sourced Craft Cocktails, a cocktail delivery service operating in New York, San Francisco, Austin, and Dallas, is paying laid off bar staff $15/hr to deliver their cocktails (bonus: you can now get cocktails in quarantine). A portion of proceeds will be delivered the USBG Bartender Relief Fund.
  • The Lee Initiative has partnered with Maker’s Mark to establish a Restaurant Workers Relief Fund that will support industry workers in Louisville, Washington D.C., Los Angeles, Seattle, Cincinnati, NYC and more cities through local partner restaurants. Check their Facebook page for the most up-to-date info.
  • Washington D.C. restaurant Hook Hall has closed and converted itself into Hook Hall Helps to distribute family meals and care kits to D.C.-area industry workers. You can donate to support their relief efforts.
  • Stock Mfg. Co., which makes uniforms for restaurant and hotel employees, is selling T-Shirts with 100% of proceeds going to industry workers in Chicago.
  • Dallas-based T-shirt maker Bullzerk is selling “Support Our Local Service Workers” shirts, with 100% of proceeds going to workers at the Truck Yard, a beer garden and restaurant in Dallas.
  • One Fair Wage has setup an Emergency Support Fund, where you can donate to tipped workers, including struggling service staff and delivery drivers.
  • Ilegal Mezcal is dontaing 100% of profits from the sale of its Oaxaca, Mexico shirt directly to the USBG Relief Fund. (They also chipped in $50,000 to the same fund.)
  • ServiceIndustry.tips is a new platform that allows people to tip service industry workers in their hometowns–or anywhere in the country. Consider giving a few bucks to out-of-work staff every time you make a drink at home.

Industry Donations

  • Beam Suntory and Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits are donating $1 million to support bar and restaurant employees affected by mandated closures. Beam Suntory is also to working with local distributors to provide donations to local organizations that are helping to support the trade in their respective communities. Check out this video from distillers and brand leaders across the world.
  • Patron has committed $1 million in funds to “support non-profit partners of the hospitality industry that provide relief for the families, individuals and business owners who need it most.”
  • Bacardi Limited and its family of brands has pledged $3 million to aid the bar and restaurant industry. These funds are being allocated to non-profit organizations providing direct relief to workers in the industry, including Another Round, Another Rally, CORE, the James Beard Foundation, Restaurant Workers’ Community Foundation, and the Tales of the Cocktail Foundation, among others.
  • Molson Coors Beverage Co. pledged $1 million to the USBG to support bartenders and other industry professionals impacted by the pandemic. And Miller Lite is encouraging others to follow suit with a new social media campaign that directs drinkers to the USBG assistance fund.
  • Bushmill’s is donating $100,000 to the USBG Bartender Emergency Assistance Program, and will match all donations up to another $100,000.
  • Singani 63 has donated $25,000 to the USBG Bartender Emergency Assistance Program.

We’ll keep this page updated. If you’d like to share a relief effort in your city, or if your company is doing something to help those affected by this crisis, please let us know at tips@bevvy.co.


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