Utah Tip Challenge Gives Thousands To Hospitality Workers

Sep 5, 2020, 10:56 AM | Updated: Sep 7, 2020, 5:16 am

PARK CITY, Utah – As the hospitality industry struggles to make a comeback from the pandemic, a grassroots effort is underway in Park City to offer some extra help for workers who rely on tips to make ends meet.

“They really survive on tips and if we don’t go out and dine out then a lot of them aren’t going to be able to survive,” said Sam Rubin, founder of the Utah Tip Challenge.

In the fourth week since Utah Tip Challenge launched, Rubin and Hilary Reiter made a surprise stop at Hearth and Hill in Park City. The restaurant has been around for nearly two years. But Rubin and Reiter didn’t just come for the good food and drinks. They came for what comes after.

Like any server who makes around $2 an hour knows, it’s the gratuity that comes at the end of the meal that can make the difference. But on Friday, they didn’t know what was coming.

Rubin and Reiter paid for their meal before calling the owner and other waiters and waitresses over to present an extra tip, courtesy of businesses and individuals in the community.

“Have you guys hear about the Utah Tip Challenge?” Rubin asked the group. “This past week was a really good week for us so we actually have $1,000. This is not from us. This is from the community. We just wanted to let you know how much we appreciate everything that you guys are doing.”

The surprise announcement was met with gasps and mask-covered smiles.

“I almost cried,” said Sunny Sorenson, a waitress at Hearth and Hill. She then turned to Rubin and Reiter during the interview and said, “You guys, thank you so much. That was amazing and completely unexpected.”

“This is huge. What Sam and Hilary have done for the rest of our community really means a lot,” said Brooks Kirchheimer, co-owner of Hearth and Hill.

For him, its been months of ups and downs and trying new things to bring customers back.

“I think the biggest thing through all of this is just the unknown,” he said. “What’s coming up? What’s the next day going to look like?”

His staff is still down 25% compared to this time last year because there aren’t as many customers coming in. But business is picking up at Hearth and Hill.

“People have been so generous,” Sorenson said. “I’m just so grateful to have a job.”

Utah Tip Challenge has raised and donated $4,000 to four different restaurants in Park City and Salt Lake City so far. And they’re determined to keep it up.

“Hopefully this lasts as long as possible,” Rubin said. “[Restaurants] work on a razor-thin margin. So I think when they see a lot of the community coming together and supporting the business, it really hits home for the owners or the managers, but really for the service staff. They become very emotional.”

You can find Utah Tip Challenge on Facebook and Instagram. People can donate to the cause on Venmo to @utahtipchallenge.

KSL 5 TV Live

Top Stories

Coronavirus: Stronger Together

CHICAGO, ILLINOIS - SEPTEMBER 09: A pharmacist prepares to administer  COVID-19 vaccine booster sho...
Jed Boal

University Health recommends getting omicron booster and flu shot now

The CDC approved the COVID-19 bivalent boosters that target the most recent omicron variants on September 1. Since then, tens of thousands of Utahns have rolled up their sleeves.
4 months ago
Only 50% of Utans are vaccinated and cases are surging because of the Omicron variant BA.5. FILE PH...
Jed Boal

BA.5 variant driving new surge of Utah COVID-19 cases

President Joe Biden’s positive Covid case Thursday was a sober reminder that Utah is not done fending off COVID-19 in many communities.
7 months ago
Utah COVID testing site. Getty images...
Cary J. Schwanitz, KSL TV

New mobile COVID-19 testing sites open in Utah

With the summer travel season underway and a steady stream of people still testing positive for COVID-19, Nomi Health opened several mobile testing sites across Utah.
8 months ago
The lawn of Timpanogos Regional Hospital was adorned with flags to honor the lives lost to COVID-19...
Ashley Moser, KSL TV

Hospital ceremony honors survivors, healthcare heroes as U.S. hits one million COVID-19 deaths

The lawn of Timpanogos Regional Hospital was adorned with flags to honor the lives lost to COVID-19, those who survived it, and the caregivers and healthcare workers who cared for the sick.
9 months ago
Debbie Worthen, KSL TV

Utah County couple gives Minky Couture blankets to medical team at Utah Valley Hospital

Russell Greene doesn't call himself a COVID-19 survivor, he calls himself a COVID-19 miracle. His family thanked medical workers for saving his life.
11 months ago
Salt Lake City's streets were deserted in the early days of the pandemic. (KSL TV)...
Alex Cabrero, KSL TV

A reporter looks back on two years of pandemic in Utah

Two years ago on March 11, 2020, the world changed for many Americans as COVID-19 was declared a global pandemic. Today, things are slowly getting back to normal. 
11 months ago

Sponsored Articles

vintage photo of lighting showroom featuring chandeliers, lamps, wall lights and mirrors...
Lighting Design

History of Lighting Design | Over 25 Years of Providing Utah With the Latest Trends and Styles

Read about the history of Lighting Design, a family-owned and operated business that paved the way for the lighting industry in Utah.
Fiber Optical cables connected to an optic ports and Network cables connected to ethernet ports...
Brian Huston, CE and Anthony Perkins, BICSI

Why Every Business Needs a Structured Cabling System

A structured cabling system benefits businesses by giving you faster processing speeds and making your network more efficient and reliable.
notebook with password notes highlighted...
PC Laptops

How to Create Strong Passwords You Can Actually Remember

Learn how you can create strong passwords that are actually easy to remember! In a short time you can create new ones in seconds.
house with for rent sign posted...
Chase Harrington, president and COO of Entrata

Top 5 Reasons You May Want to Consider Apartment Life Over Owning a Home

There are many benefits of renting that can be overshadowed by the allure of buying a home. Here are five reasons why renting might be right for you.
Festive kitchen in Christmas decorations. Christmas dining room....
Lighting Design

6 Holiday Decor Trends to Try in 2022

We've rounded out the top 6 holiday decor trends for 2022 so you can be ahead of the game before you start shopping. 
Happy diverse college or university students are having fun on their graduation day...
BYU MBA at the Marriott School of Business

How to Choose What MBA Program is Right for You: Take this Quiz Before You Apply!

Wondering what MBA program is right for you? Take this quiz before you apply to see if it will help you meet your goals.
Utah Tip Challenge Gives Thousands To Hospitality Workers