Many service workers expect to take a financial hit after the state ordered restaurants and bars to switch to delivery or take-out options only. But to address the issue, an Indianapolis man created a spreadsheet that allows would-be patrons to find and tip servers online.
Jeb Banner launched a Google form Monday morning for Indianapolis service workers to enter their name, workplace and Venmo account information. Then, would-be patrons can find their favorite restaurants and servers and give tips. He says the idea came when he was talking to friends about ways to help local businesses and workers financially survive the coronavirus outbreak.
“If anything I was trying to solve my own problem of just wanting to continue patronizing these businesses,” he says.
In less than a day, hundreds of workers from bartenders to dog walkers to special education teachers signed up to receive tips. Banner says he was surprised to see it catch on so quickly.
“You know, with these kinds of things, if you bring something to the world at the right time it tends to catch fire and it’s neat to see people taking to it,” he says.
Banner says it’s easy to duplicate this honor-system spreadsheet if other Indiana towns want to do something similar.