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How to support local restaurants and out of work staff


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CHStoday is working to keep you updated on the latest local news, announcements, + resources related to the COVID-19 pandemic. To find more of our coverage, click here. For a list of general COVID-19 relief fundraisers, click here.

Tomorrow will mark one month since Gov. Henry McMaster ordered all restaurants to close their dining areas. According to an estimate from the College of Charleston, about two-thirds of the city’s tourism-related jobs have since been lost.

Many local bars + restaurants have begun asking for the community’s support during this time. Some businesses are even promising pretty sweet perks to those who donate today – from a year’s worth of bar tabs to a free bowling party – that can be redeemed when this is over.

If you’re able to help but don’t know where to begin, we’ve got a list of restaurant relief funds and other ways you can lend a hand right now. Plus: This list also includes several opportunities for hospitality employees who are out of work due to the pandemic.

Businesses offering perks for donors


Proof offers a “Golden Ticket” for chance to win a $100 bar tab every day for a year

Proof launched a “Golden Ticket” raffle, where donors can get the chance to win a $100 per day tab for one calendar year (excluding holidays and private parties). Golden Ticket recipients will also get access to special events, as well as a “first in line” pass. Tickets are non-transferable, so you’ll have to be present in order to redeem it. Tabs will not apply to pop-up food offerings.

The Golden Ticket was launched for just $30, but has since gone up to $50. Proceeds from the tickets will be used to reopen the bar, rehire employees, and restock the bar.

Click here to purchase a Golden Ticket.

Support The Alley today, get a free bowling party later on

The Alley launched an employee relief fund via GoFundMe. 100% of the donations will go to its employees for their immediate needs and well-being.

They’re hoping to raise $45,000. Until they reach that goal, The Alley will give everyone who donates $50 or more a bowling party for 12 people (a $180 value).

Click here to make a donation. If you donated $50 or more, email to receive your bowling party certificate.

Bid on a trip to Mexico and more through the Mex 1 Love Crew Support Fund Auction

Mex 1 Coastal Cantina is auctioning off unique experiences, and 100% of proceeds will go directly to their staff (95% of whom have been temporarily laid off) to help with family needs, living expenses, and medical bills.

Here’s some of what’s up for bid: free tacos for a year, a tequila dinner for 6, a private NYE party at Mex 1 Sullivan’s Island, and even a trip to Mexico for 2 to help Mex 1 pick out their next barrel of tequila. Bidding ends Tuesday, May 5.

Click here to view the auction and start bidding.

Uptown Social’s “Pledge a Pizza” program

Uptown Social is asking supporters to pledge a pizza. A $25 donation will get you one pizza (redeemable within 30 days of the restaurant’s reopening). A $50 donation will get you 2 pizzas and a free ticket to their grand opening party, which will have an open bar. $100 will get you 4 pizzas and two tickets to the party.

Click here to pledge a pizza.

Fleet Landing fund features raffle with big ticket prizes

Fleet Landing launched a GoFundMe to support its team members. For every $25 you donate, you will receive a virtual raffle ticket for a weekly giveaway. Past weeks’ prizes have included swag bags and a $100 bar tab, and a dinner for four with wine pairings.

Click here to make a donation.

Funds that directly support employees

Buy a gift card to support O-Ku, Indaco, Oak Steakhouse, and the Macintosh staff

With every Indigo Road gift card purchase, the restaurant group will donate 100% of proceeds to its Indigo Road Employee Relief Fund. Buy a gift card to help now, and enjoy it later at any of Indigo Road’s restaurants.

Click here to purchase a gift card.

A GoFundMe campaign for The Ordinary and FIG was established to provide financial relief for employees. The top priority of the fund will be to continue to support employees’ health insurance coverage. So far, enough has been raised to do this through the month of May.

Click here to make a donation.

Financial relief fund for Zero George and Wild Common employees

Easton Porter Group launched a GoFundMe to support laid-off employees so they will be able to feed and shelter their families during this crisis. 100% of donations will be distributed directly and equally to those employees across all Easton Porter Group properties, including Zero George hotel; Zero Restaurant + Bar, and Wild Common.

Click here to make a donation.

SC Hospitality Employee Relief COVID-19 Fund

The South Carolina Restaurant and Lodging Association, alongside Scofflaw Brewing Co., created the SC Hospitality Employee Relief COVID-19 Fund to provide grants to industry employees who have either lost wages or employment as a result of COVID-19.

Click here to make a donation.

Click here to apply to receive funding. Note: The application process to receive funds is currently closed, but may reopen if further funding becomes available.

Coastal Community Foundation’s COVID-19 Relief & Recovery Fund

Donations will provide flexible resources to Charleston + eight other Lowcountry counties. Priority groups include senior citizens, children, health-compromised + hospitality and tourism industry workers.

Click here to make a donation.

Click here to apply for assistance.

Causes that provide meals to those in need


Butcher and Bee providing grocery bags for out of work F&B employees

Donations from Butcher and Bee’s Pay it Forward campaign (launched alongside Red Clay Hot Sauce) will be used to provide grocery bags for out of work F&B employees.

A $10 donation will support the purchase of one grocery bag, which includes a dozen eggs, baked goods and produce.

Click here to make a donation.

Click here if you are an out of work F&B employee and would like to sign up to receive a bag.

Feed the Fight feeds healthcare workers while supporting restaurants

Feed the Fight is a new nonprofit organization that simultaneously supports local restaurants and healthcare workers.

Donors can contribute via the organizations’ GoFundMe page. Money collected through the fund will be used to order takeout from local restaurants and then deliver it to healthcare workers.

Click here to make a donation.

Full Belly, Full Hearts provides free meals for laid off workers

Charleston Hospitality Group created the “Full Belly, Full Hearts” campaign to provide free, hot meals for hospitality workers, healthcare workers, and their families. It’s employing about 15% of its paid hospitality workers to help serve and prepare meals.

Breakfast, lunch, and dinner is available at Toast (all four locations) from 8 a.m.-8 p.m. daily for pick-up or delivery. One meal per person, per day.

Click here to learn more. Anyone interested in joining this movement can contact Sam Mustafa at 843-412-6146 or

Lewis BBQ providing 100 free meals for unemployed F&B workers weekly

Every Thursday, Lewis BBQ will serve 100 free meals to unemployed workers. Workers can order the special online each Thursday using the code ‘CHSstrong’ and pick it up between 2-4 p.m. Check their Instagram page to see the meal that’s on special, and be sure to bring a pay stub with you to redeem it.

Click here to order online.

Charleston, SC Hospitality Workers Fund provides grocery money for hospitality workers

SouthernEagle Distributing recently teamed up with several other companies to launch the Charleston, SC Hospitality Workers Fund. The fund provides $50 e-gift cards for Holy City hospitality workers of all levels and roles to spend on groceries.

Click here to make a contribution to the fund.

Click here if you are a hospitality worker who would like to request an e-gift card from the fund.

Sorghum and Salt launches fund to support restaurant, feed unemployed workers

Sorghum and Salt, in partnership with Grow Food Carolina, created a GoFundMe to raise money for ingredients and staffing so that it can 50 unemployed hospitality employees a day.

Click here to make a donation.

If you are an unemployed hospitality worker and would like to request a meal, call the restaurant at 843-872-6393 between 5-7 p.m.

Feeding Our Heroes purchases meals from local restaurants to feed hospital workers

A group of volunteers formed Feeding Our Heroes and are coordinating lunches + dinners from local restaurants to feed MUSC, ECMC, and Roper staff.

Click here to reach out via email.

Click here for instructions on how to donate via Venmo.

FLAG Charleston purchases meals from local restaurants to feed hospital workers

FLAG Charleston raises funds through donations, typically $10-$20, but any amount is greatly appreciated. The money is used to purchase meals through our local restaurants partners to be distributed to the front line workers. Donations are accepted through Venmo.

Click here to visit their website.

Click here to join their Facebook group.

The Brooks Foundation purchases meals from local restaurants to feed hospital workers

The Brooks Foundation accepts donations via Venmo and uses the money to purchase meals from local restaurants that it delivers to frontline workers.

Click here to visit their Facebook page.

Merch and Gift Cards


“Uptown Social Distancing” t-shirts are being sold for $30. All profits from the sale of the shirts will directly benefit the resident musicians who perform weekly at Uptown Social. Purchase a shirt here.

David Aylor Law Firm created a “Support Local” t-shirt. The shirts cost $26 and 100% of net-proceeds will be distributed amongst the Charleston Brewery District’s employees. Purchase a shirt here.

The student association at the Culinary Institute of Charleston is selling t-shirts for $20-23. $10 from every shirt sold will support local workers in the hospitality and culinary industries who have been affected by COVID-19. Purchase a shirt or make a monetary donation here.

○ The Midnight Society is selling five custom digital wallpapers that each support a different local restaurant. The wallpapers are available for sale starting at $1, but shoppers can choose to pay a larger amount. 100% of the proceeds will benefit either the Early Bird Diner, Local 616, Fat Pig Brewing Company, The Sofrita Project, or Park Pizza Co., depending on which design you choose. Shop the wallpapers here.

Charleston-based Island Coastal Lager created a line of “Spread The Love” merchandise. 100% of profits will be donated directly to its Spread The Love Relief Fund. Shop the merchandise here. Restaurants located in states where Island Brands are sold (SC, along with AL, FL, GA, NC, TN and VA) can apply to receive financial assistance from the fund. Click here if you are a restaurant owner or manager and would like to apply.

Rally For Restaurants is a searchable directory for those who would like to purchase an e-gift card to their favorite restaurant that can generate income now and be redeemed later on.

Charleston Tip Jar is another platform that customers can use to purchase gift cards to local bars or restaurants.

Leave a virtual tip

○ Holy City Sinner put together a list of local employees + where they work so you can choose exactly who you’d like to tip. Tips can be sent through Venmo or PayPal. Employees can sign up to have their name + information added to the list. randomly selects a local F+B worker and provides their Venmo or CashApp information so you can send a tip. Employees can sign up to have their name + information added.

Charleston-based web design company, Web Done Well, created a searchable directory of local bartenders called Tips in the Jar. You can search for your favorite bartenders and send them a tip through Venmo, PayPal, and/or CashApp. Bartenders can sign up to have their name + information added.

Other ways to help

adopt a local restaurant

Lowcountry Local First is encouraging people to pledge their support to their favorite restaurants through its “Adopt a Local Restaurant” campaign, and provided this graphic for participants to share on social media

○ Order takeout for dinner if you’re able to afford it. Click here for our list of restaurants offering curbside pick-up and to-go, and follow us on Instagram to see daily specials in our stories.

○ Lowcountry Local First launched an “Adopt a Local Restaurant” campaign. There are two ways to participate: 1) “Adopt” your favorite local restaurant, brewery, distillery, or wine distributor by pledging to order from them a minimum of once a week (be sure to call the restaurant directly to place your order). 2) If your favorite food or beverage business has paused its operations, “adopt” them by pledging to contribute to their employee fund or virtual tip jar.

Hire your own private chef to help those who are currently out of work. Butcher and Bee is also launching an initiative to connect out of work chefs with people looking for private chefs. If you have the means and the interest to hire a private chef, contact Butcher and Bee and they will connect you with a local chef who can provide that service for you. Butcher and Bee does not have any financial incentive here, but is doing this to support local chefs. Click here to email Butcher and Bee about this initiative.

The James Beard Foundation launched a Food and Beverage Industry Relief Fund. It’s looking for individual, corporate, and foundation donors to contribute, and will use the money to provide micro-grants to independent F&B businesses across the country. Click here to make a donation. Click here if you are a restaurant owner who would like to learn more about receiving assistance from the fund.

Many local restaurants have teamed up to support the Independent Restaurant Coalition, an advocacy group that is calling on US lawmakers to create several changes to the CARES Act that they believe will provide increased financial relief for independent restaurants and their employees. The IRC is asking supporters to join the cause by sending an email to Congress on their behalf. Click here to learn how to get involved.

Shop merch from restaurants. Many restaurants offer their merch for sale on their websites.

Take some time to write positive reviews of your favorite restaurants on platforms like Yelp and Google.

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