Letter to the Editor – Rich Minster

To the Editor:

I just read in the Springfield paper an article about helping small, local businesses to survive until the virus-induced self-quarantine mandate has been lifted. One of the suggestions was to buy gift cards right now from restaurants, bars, and other businesses that have shut down. While some restaurants are still selling food through delivery or pick-up, that bandage is not going to solve their problem for very long. And it doesn’t do much for the servers who are sitting at home or trying to find other work.

Restaurants and other businesses that have shut down completely, without trying to make it on pick-up business alone, may not survive long at all. Small towns like Carlinville and our neighbor towns can not afford to lose businesses.

So let’s buy gift cards right now, today, from our local restaurants, bars, retail shops, and other businesses that have been slowed or shuttered by the battle with the virus.

Another suggestion that will help servers and other employees at food and drink businesses is to over-tip when picking up an order.

Some people don’t tip at all when picking up take-out orders during normal times; some tip but far less than when they sit down for a meal or drink.

So let’s make an effort to tip at least as well as if we were dining in, if not an additional 10 or 20 percent. And maybe even suggest to the owners/managers who are on duty at the pick-up establishments that they should share the turbo-charged tip with their laid-off servers and dishwashers. Most of the ones we’ve talked with in Carlinville already have some kind of plan to help take care of their employees, but we can do our part, too.

Rich Minster,