Launching SaveOurFaves—let’s support restaurants with gift cards

We hacked the site together over the weekend, in between diaper changes for our 9-month old.

Last Friday night my wife Kaitlyn and I got a call from our friend Zack, co-owner of a beloved restaurant in Pacific Heights. He was grappling with the realities of coronavirus and his balance sheet. Should he stay open at potential risk to his staff? How long could he keep the restaurant afloat with sales plunging? By Sunday night he was forced to make the heartbreaking decision to close his doors, unsure of when or whether they’d ever reopen again.

Local businesses represent the backbone of our cities, where community happens. In San Francisco alone, there are over 12,000 small businesses that employ more than 350,000 people. The coronavirus pandemic is threatening to permanently close many of these, leaving staff unemployed and owners at-risk.

But one concrete, meaningful way that we can help is by purchasing gift cards. It’s a seemingly small gesture, but it means that the business gets income today to stay afloat through the crisis. You’ll get repaid in burgers/lattes/negronis (and gratitude) when they’re back on their feet.

So that’s why, over the weekend, Kaitlyn and I built SaveOurFaves, a directory of San Francisco restaurants and coffee shops that offer gift cards for purchase. We hope that this resource will help mobilize loyal customers to support their favorite places in town.

There’s been a lot of talk about “flattening the curve” of the coronavirus outbreak — slowing the spread to reduce the burden on our healthcare system. We hope SaveOurFaves will help “flatten the curve” of lost income for restaurants — giving them the resources to make ends meet and preserve the livelihood of wage earners during this difficult time.

Visit to see if your favorite spots offer gift cards. We’ll contact them if they don’t, and offer tech support if they need it. Consider pre-paying for a month’s worth of spending, or one night out if you visit only occasionally. More importantly, please share SaveOurFaves with friends and family to raise awareness for how we can support the businesses we love most. During this make-or-break time, it’s more important than ever that we band together to help preserve our community.

Thanks to the people who gave us such great input over the weekend: Zack Schwab, Phil Levin, Kristen Berman, Stefanie Krieger, and Paul Einbund.

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