As Coronavirus spreads in the Treasure Valley, not all of those affected by the illness are sick and one Google spreadsheet is lending a helping hand.

On any normal weekend if you go out for a drink or dinner AND drinks in the Treasure Valley, you’ll be greeted by a familiar face, a warm smile and a glass of water to start. What follows is a veritable cornucopia of tasty vittles cooked by the Valley’s best chefs and served by the Valley’s best wait-staff accompanied by your favorite microbrew or masterfully crafted cocktail.

Since Boise Mayor Lauren McLean ordered the closing of all Boise bars and restaurants in hopes of staving off further spread of the Coronavirus, many in our community have been hit hard where it hurts the most; their bank account. Ask any bartender or waitress in the Valley and they’ll tell you that on any given weekend, they will clear upwards of $600 in tips. Not only is that a testament to their prowess with customer service, but it also speaks volumes about our community’s kindness and generosity.

To aid those affected by the mass closures, Pengilly bartender Tyler Brewington set up a google spreadsheet modeled after one started in Washington DC. It’s Boise’s very own Virtual Tip Jar.

If Go Fund Me is more your speed, you can donate there as well!

You might be asking yourself, “why would I tip someone who hasn’t served me a drink or an appetizer?” and you wouldn’t be alone. But one thing to keep in mind is that serving or tending bar is a lot of Boise residents’ sole source of income. Bar and restaurant closures have effectively left them unemployed with no income to lean on to pay rent, buy groceries and bare necessities. So rather than looking at it as “a tip for nothing”, consider it a helping hand for the bar and waitstaff who always make sure you have a warm plate and a tall glass of your favorite beverage.