Updated: Sep 8, 2021
Here in Chicago, tipping food industry workers more than the usual percentage has become the normal “thank you for everything you do.” A hearty 20% or more can go a long way. Thinking about some baristas I’ve come upon at my go-to coffee spots, it makes me wonder how we can further support them. People risk their lives on the daily to serve us our favorite cup of tea or coffee. In 2020, many Chicago restaurants and cafes bid farewell due to the pandemic. In order to keep our local coffee shops open, we need to do something as consumers.
The easiest way to support your local coffee shop is to keep buying from that shop. Simple. For some, this may be easier said than done. With more dire financial responsibilities whether it be paying loans or bills, it is true that making your coffee at home is the most financially efficient way to do so. You buy a bag of beans for $15 or so and you’ve got enough to last you about a month. An alternative would be getting coffee every morning for $2-$6 five days a week for four weeks.
The food industry was hit hard by the virus that shall not be named. Many beloved spots shut down in Chicago and many places had to figure out how to change things around to cater to their customers in a safe way. From the six-feet apart floor stickers to mobile pick-up ordering systems implemented, we as customers have had to cope with changes and continue to do so. Certain apps out there, like Ritual, reward users whenever they buy from local businesses. Why not earn rewards that can lead up to money off a future purchase? Sold!
Money never aside, there’s a way to balance being financially smart while supporting coffee shops. Implement a day in your week where you go to your fave coffee joint and buy a snazzy latte. Share pictures or videos of your drink on social media to get the word out. Supporting coffee shops and the local Chicago coffee culture around it is more vital than ever. Gift merchandise or a bag of beans to your friends for birthdays or celebrations. If you’re able to buy merchandise, do so because there’s nothing better than connecting and feeling a sense of community with someone on the street who recognizes your branded hoodie or hat.