Our Stories

How to Shop Kind


Updated 1/5/2022

The winter holidays are, de facto, the “most wonderful time of the year” for gathering with friends and family. More and more, people are returning to restaurants and shopping in-store. This is fantastic news, and a testament to this community’s hard work and adaptability in the face of numerous operational challenges.

A New Dynamic in Customer Service.

According to the latest U.S. Department of Labor summary, a record 4.5 million American workers quit their jobs during the month of November—the most resignations (1 million) were seen in the hospitality and food services industries.

These numbers aren’t just shocking, they are transformational for many of our retail partners. Everyone contributes to the ecosystem of our places, making each one a unique and desirable destination for authentic experiences. Retailers play a critical role in enriching communities and are often big drivers behind local economies and job creation. While we all continue to grapple with a global health crisis, supply chain bottlenecks and workforce issues present many of our partners with a new dynamic in customer service that will last well into the new year.

We are all in this together.

The New York Times recently published an article forecasting food and culinary trends for the coming year, predicting a new emphasis on “kindness and understanding”:

“With the supply chain in tatters and restaurant staffs stretched nearly to the breaking point, demanding shoppers and diners are out, and patience is in.”

As customers, what can we do to help? Remember that people are doing the very best they can to serve us. Along with our dollars, a generous dose of kindness will lift up neighborhood employers and local businesses that are still adjusting and recovering. If your retail or dining experience was a good one, say something positive on Google Business and Yelp—these platforms aren’t exclusive to complaints and bad reviews! In addition to an extra tip, say “thank you” to your server.

One smile can light up a whole room. A 14th-century poet once said that patience is a virtue—yet it’s challenging to take pause in our fast-paced 21st century. All these actions will mean a lot to those on the frontline of our everyday experiences. When we come together to celebrate this year, let’s reflect on the power of gratitude, and pay it forward with abundance.