The Foodservice Community: Keeping It Together
Because pretty much everybody is in the damn weeds atm
By Wayne Alan Brenner,
5:15PM, Thu. Mar. 26, 2020
We’ve told you about some of the many fierce and generous efforts that are filling bellies and warming hearts throughout the ATX. But it ain’t over yet; there’s still a ways to go with this virus thing; so maybe some more about innovative solidarity and people doing whatever-they-can-for-each-other?
Or maybe, as a throwback to simpler clickbait times, let’s call this That One Weird Trick To Not Being An Asshole …
Hard to keep Kc Hensley out of our reportage lately. Hensley’s the community manager of Seasoned - In The Weeds, an app-based community of local restaurant and bar workers and owners. And Seasoned - In The Weeds is right there with (as the military likes to put it) boots on the ground, is where your servers and your barbacks and your dishwashers and your venue managers, where so many people involved in hospitality in this town connect to pass along industry tips and job offers and other useful information. (Note: There’s a Facebook group for it, too – but it’s not as direct, not half as organized as that free-to-use app.)
And right about now, Hensley is among those locals who are stepping up and providing some leadership and assistance where it’s sure as hell needed. The man is updating things on In The Weeds like a ninja, consolidating info streams, pointing people in the best direction, putting out (metaphorical) fires here and there, quashing dumb rumors, basically getting shit done. That? Is a mensch.
And, OK, this might sound a bit crazy … but do you want to help the beleagured service industry and get a T-shirt that 1) celebrates this city’s strength and 2) beautifully notes how you’re a part of that strength? What if the money you spend on such a snazzy garment goes directly to whoever in the service industry gave you the discount code, with nothing taken out of the transaction except the bare manufacturing costs?
AUSTIN: STAY WEIRD, STAY STRONG
“The shirt printer and designer Keith McKinney of Big Fun Workshop is only recouping the costs,” Hensley tells us, “and he’s doing his part by donating his time, energy, and skill. We also have Katrina Marhefka of Espacio Handmade, who’s worked in the service industry since the day she turned 16, who’ll be providing high quality sewn-on leather hats.”
Note: This campaign started just a few days ago, but has already brought in more than $5,000 for the local service industry.
“We ask that everyone who sees a service industry person sharing www.twothirteen.bigcartel.com to please purchase something,” says Hensley, “and make sure to enter the person’s discount code during checkout.”
BEAUTIFUL SERENDIPITY IN DIRE TIMES
But maybe you don’t like T-shirts? Maybe you’re some kind of, like, otherkin T-shirt Hater or something? OK, well, how about offering what support you can, still to one server at a time, without any new clothing involved? How about a method that, if we weren’t all in this goddamn crisis mode, we’d report on it anyway – because it sounds like a Rubber Repertory-level sort of performance art project?
Listen: J.R. Way of All Heart Culinary Creations has got a Venmo-enhanced link set up for locals through ServiceIndustry.tips. The idea is, when you sit down for a meal or a drink you’ve made in your own home, you click the link and tip a server who needs the money – their name & affiliation is shown, as randomly generated from the vast industry roster, and your money goes directly to them.
You do it with this link right here.
OMG, that’s …
[Note: I’m sorry, but that’s so wonderful an idea, I’m crying & laughing at the same time. Because sometimes you’re able to help only the people you personally know, right? And sometimes you’re able to help total strangers – but seldom in a way as … as magical as this.]
Hang tough, citizen.
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