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Virtual Tip Jars Supporting Coffee Workers Throughout the US

2015 photo “Tip Jar” by Nan Palermo is licensed under Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0)

All over the country, coffee shops have transitioned to strictly takeout operations or temporarily shut down entirely, driven by moral responsibility, force of law or both.

While the full scope of the novel coronavirus pandemic’s effects on the coffee retail sector won’t be known for months or years, what is clear is that many hourly workers are suffering now from lost wages or even sudden unemployment.

In response, especially over the past two days, dozens of businesses and individuals have launched virtual tip jars, where the front line personnel in the coffee industry, the baristas, may find some financial assistance in these uncertain times.

A few groups have organized crowd-sourced lists, where baristas can add their names, companies and personal Venmo accounts. Other companies have started virtual tipping jars directly on their own websites with PayPal, Venmo or other payment systems. Some have turned to the crowd with GoFundMe campaigns.

“We’re seeing a ton of cafes and baristas launching their own campaigns,” said Jerry Ponzer, co-founder of BaristaKC, a community-based coffee organization in Kansas City. “[BaristaKC] is taking submissions from baristas who need financial support and donations through Venmo. Our first round of donations will be distributed on Monday and will be split equally between all valid applicants. With each week’s donations, we’re planning on repeating the process ”

In addition to the direct financial support provided by tipping — which can only be considered a short-term solution for many workers — the Specialty Coffee Association has established an online “community-contributed” database of additional resources for people struggling in the coffee industry.

Virtual Tip Jars By City

While more are appearing every hour, here are some of the virtual tip jars that have been established to support individual cities. (Have a tip jar to share? Feel free to sound off in the comments below.)

Annapolis, Maryland

Birmingham, Alabama

Cambridge, Massachusetts

Cincinnati, Ohio

Kansas City, Missouri, BaristaKC website

Madison, Wisconsin

Moore, Oklahoma

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania Website

Rehoboth Beach, Delaware

St. Louis, Missouri

Washington D.C.

Virtual Tip Jars by Business

And here are some of the dozens of coffee businesses, retailers and roasteries that have established virtual tipping for their staff for these uncertain times:

3 Little Figs Venmo 

Andytown Coffee Virtual Tip Jar

Bandit Coffee Virtual Tip Jar

Bar Nine GoFundMe 

BaristaKC. Venmo 

Battlecat Espresso Bar Venmo

Bradbury’s Coffee Venmo

Buteco: GoFundMe Buteco GoFundMe

Buunni Cafe Venmo

Cafe Grumpy: GoFundMe Cafe Grumpy GoFundMe

Cerberus Coffee Virtual Tip Jar 

Chromatic Coffee Virtual Tip Jar 

Collective Espresso Venmo

Comet Coffee Venmo

Common Cup Venmo

Commune and Co Virtual Tip Jar 

Cuppa Espresso Bar GoFundMe

Dweebs Venmo

Elixr Coffee Venmo

Epoch Coffee GoFundMe

Everyman Espresso Venmo

Flat Track Coffee Paypal

Fleet Coffee Co Venmo

Fulcrum Cafe Paypal

Golden Boy Coffee Co GoFundMe

The Green Line Cafe Venmo

Ground Central Venmo

Groundswell Coffee GoFundMe

Guilder Virtual Tip Jar

High Five Coffee Venmo

Highwire Coffee Roasters Virtual Tip Jar 

Huckleberry Baristas PayPal

Ipsento GoFundMe

Joe Coffee Company GoFundMe

Junto Coffee Venmo

King State Coffee T-Shirt Sale

La Colombe Bryn Mawr Venmo

La Colombe Dilworth Venmo

La Colombe Fishtown Venmo

La Colombe Indy Venmo

La Colombe Rittenhouse Venmo

Leslie Coffee Co Venmo

Little Collins Venmo

Little Waves Venmo

Machine Head Coffee Venmo

Madcap Coffee GoFundMe

Metropolis Coffee GoFundMe

Milk Bar Brooklyn Venmo

New Gotham Coffee Community Paypal

Ozo Coffee Venmo

Patent Coffee Venmo

Passion House Coffee GoFundMe

Pinhole Coffee Square Virtual Tip Jar

Purple Llama Coffee and Records Venmo

Refuge Coffee Co Donately

Red Door Coffee GoFundMe

Red Hook Coffee & Tea GoFundMe

Rival Bro’s Coffee Venmo

Rosebud Coffee Venmo

Rohs Street Coffee Venmo

Shift Coffee Bar Virtual Tip Jar

Seventh Coffee & Tea Venmo

Spaddy’s Coffee Virtual Tip Jar

Spitfire Coffee GoFundMe 

Square One Coffee Venmo

Stacks Espresso Venmo

Steap and Grind Venmo

Stumptown Coffee Chicago Venmo

Stumptown Coffee Los Angeles GoFundMe

Stumptown Coffee NOLA Venmo

Stumptown Coffee NYC Venmo

Stumptown Coffee Portland Venmo

Stumptown Coffee Seattle Venmo

Southside Coffee Venmo

Taylor St. Madison GoFundMe

Third Rail Coffee GoFundMe

Tiny House Coffee Roasters Venmo

Trade and Lore Venmo 

Ugly Duck Coffee Paypal 

Ultimo Coffee Venmo 

Varietal Coffee Bar Venmo

Vertex Coffee Roasters Virtual Tip Jar

Vinal Bakery Venmo

The West Venmo 

West Oak Coffee Bar GoFundMe

Zoka GoFundMe

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