NATICK – Restaurants have been struggling throughout the pandemic in 2020. And 2021, will not be much better for at least the first few months.
But a Facebook group called Chew On This, with more than 11,000 followers wanted to help struggling restaurants, and especially those who deliver.
Yesterday, they gave a $500 tip to Pizza by Rocco in Natick through a Venmo challenge.
“We collected money from anyone that wanted to contribute in Chew on This, most people donated $1-5 but some people donated $20+. Then once I hit $500 in my Venmo, I cashed it out and tipped my curbside pick up person the full amount,” said Framingham resident Jillian Kaplan, who administers the group with its founder chef Kiat Cormier, also a Framingham resident.
“The restaurants have been on the front line of the pandemic for the past 9+ months with very little government help. They are constantly adjusting their businesses and not given funds to meet the new requirements. Giving them a small token of appreciation and bringing a smile to a small business was on my heart,” said Kaplan.
The goal of the challenge is “to brighten someone’s day. Help them pay a bill. Give back a tiny bit for those who are on the front lines keep our bellies full.
And you can help with the next delivery.
“If you want to be part of it just donate any small amount to Jillian-Kaplan-3 (last 4 of phone is 1431) and you can be included,” said Kaplan.
She is hoping to do the next delivery on January 8.
Kaplan said she did not know Cormier before the pandemic struck in 2020.
“I stumbled upon the group because I like to eat and my family started getting takeout every Friday from a new local place during COVID, as a way of supporting local business, the group gave me ideas,” said Kaplan.
Members post about restaurants, seek suggestions for take-out, etc in the Facebook group.
“A few months back I offered to help Kiat with some basic design work, marketing and get set up with Chew On This merchandise. … In my 9-5 I do high tech product marketing at Dell Technologies so I have a marketing background but I have a strong belief in paying it forward and that social media can be used for good,” said Kaplan to SOURCE media.
“He liked my style (or something 🤷♀️) and asked me to help him co-admin the group of 11k people (and growing) that he has single-handedly built. Kiat is a chef himself and has been impacted by difficult time that COVID has brought to the restaurant biz. During the pandemic, Kiat has made it his full time mission to help local restaurants stay in business and ride out this difficult time,” said Kaplan, who said she loves to give-back.
“I have a strong social media acumen and will always take time to help and give back where I can,” said Kaplan.
Photo courtesy of Pizza by Rocco