As seen in the Albany Times Union:
Two Buttons Deep tip program passes $10,000
After six weeks of a campaign called Big Tip Energy that crowdsources money for Capital Region restaurants, the local entertainment website Two Buttons Deep has brought in and donated more than $10,000.
The most recent disbursement, last week, was to $1,500 to Hattie’s Restaurant in Saratoga Springs. This week’s recipient will be The Bishop in Albany, which reopened last weekend after an extended, pandemic-related winter break that began in early December. Jack Carpenter, co-founder of 2BD, tells me tips for The Bishop, to be delivered later this week, total the second-highest amount raised by Big Tip Energy so far. (The top at the moment, $2,700, went to Son of Egg in Albany.)
Two Buttons Deep announces each new beneficiary, chosen from among names submitted by the public, late in the week, then collects donations via Venmo for 48 hours starting on Friday evening. Any contribution of more than $10 enters the donor in a drawing for a $100 gift card to that week’s restaurant, courtesy of campaign sponsor CDTA.
“Two Button Deep is doing truly wonderful things,” Beth Alexander, who owns Hattie’s with her husband, Jasper, tells me. She says, “Our staff … (was) overwhelmed with the amount they raised.” All 2BD proceeds went to Hattie’s employees, according to Alexander, who split it evenly among themselves. Carpenter tells me most owners have followed that model, but they are free to use the fund as they wish.
The original donation goal was $250 per week, but Big Tip Energy has averaged $1,700 weekly so far, Carpenter says, with donations ranging from $1 to $250. Planned to run for 12 weeks, the campaign has been so successful that 2BD expects it to continue. Other recipients have been La Capital Tacos in Troy, Jay St. Pub in Schenectady and Jim’s Tastee Freez in Delmar.
“The momentum is 10 times higher than we’d expected,” Carpenter says. “We’ll probably keep it going through the end of the year and just ride that wave.”