To help local companies continue to bring in revenue amid COVID-19 restrictions, Instagram Co-founder Mike Krieger and his wife, Kaitlyn, rolled out a directory of eateries in the Bay Area offering gift cards called SaveOurFaves. Visitors can browse by location or query for restaurants in the region, according to reports.
Today, the platform lists 700 restaurants and coffee shops, and is receiving 50 submissions daily. Other similar services have also emerged, such as Rally For Restaurants and Give Local, which offer directories for multiple areas.
The Kriegers said that they were “no longer going out because of COVID-19 (San Francisco is under a ‘shelter in place’ ordinance), so we started buying gift cards to help support our favorite cafes and restaurants during this unpredictable time.” They also noted that “SaveOurFaves is our simple way to make it easier for people to help local businesses.”
Restaurants can still provide take-out and delivery, but more upscale locations that typically only provide dine-in or that have large dining rooms are getting hit especially hard. One restaurant, Brown Sugar Kitchen, laid off all of its workforce of 50 except for three-full time workers. China Live, on the other hand, reduced its staffing to 20 from 200.
The site recommends how eateries can reach out to their point-of-sale (POS) suppliers, such as Toast or Square, to begin selling gift certificates or to create their own on GiftFly or GiftUp.
If users find that one of their most-liked locations is not listed on SaveOurFaves, they can submit them through a form.
In separate news, a collaborative effort by Eniac Ventures and Lunchbox will seek to aid small businesses during the coronavirus pandemic by offering a way to support them. The idea with Help Main Street is to create a database of companies that provide gift cards and other similar products. Users can look through the ones available near them and purchase them to use later. In addition, Square payments are an option.