ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — Most people are trying to spend some of their time during the crisis to help ways to help. Sometime the help stems from a hobby — like sewing — sometimes it comes from volunteerism, and for Jesse Reichenstein it’s an extension of his job: “Support ROC Eats.”
“As soon as this hit, half of my projects halted,” he said. “But the other half are companies scrambling to get online. That half has doubled up, but they’re hurting on both sides.”
He’s a freelance web developer and native of Honeoye Falls, working on UI/ UX (user interfaces or user experiences) and he created “Support ROC Eats,” an independent website that features Rochester restaurants. In just a week, he’s amassed over 40 restaurants on the site, and he’s taking applicants.
All for free.
“It’s been very cool, because I see building this platform as the very small part of helping other people facilitate the help,” he said. “The real help is the people using this site and supporting the businesses and the people affected.”
“It’s warming to know how fast people come to the idea and supporting it.”
The website itself is certainly pleasing to look at. The main page is filled with carefully laid out profiles of each restaurant. Most have slick photos, and each profile has the location, hours, order options, websites, and other useful information.
But if you don’t want to scroll through, the site has multiple ways you can search by location, or if you want takeout or delivery.
The site also has a function where people can tip a server. Visitors to the site are paired randomly with a server in the Rochester area who has applied to the site. Tippers can tip right to the server’s PayPal, CashApp, Venmo, etc.
“A couple dollars might not feel huge, but at scale can make a huge difference for people,” he said.
But as times change very quickly, chipping in is not only the right thing to do that makes feel “warming,” but it’s also a chance for us to learn about ourselves. Like Reichenstein.
“A good takeaway is to move fast and share things more,” he said. “I think it’s very hard for people to share things you create, and when you’re putting stuff out into the world… If you put stuff out, people want to support it, people want to be connected, and they want to be part of community.”
To submit your business or add yourself as a server, simply follow the prompts on Support ROC Eats.