Displaced Due to COVID-19, Former Service Industry Workers Turn Filmmakers Seek to Produce Web Series with Help from Crowdfunding Efforts

What happens when the people beside you become your support system? For this group of Atlanta-based servers turned filmmakers, the answer is a web series called Gratuity Not Included. Even when the tips stopped the show did not. The cast and crew of Gratuity Not Included has come to provide their own form of relief amid the COVID-19 pandemic and social distancing. Today, the web series launched its official crowdfunding campaign via Indiegogo.

Based in Atlanta, Gratuity Not Included is a 10-episode mockumentary that chronicles the daily strife of three servers, their colleagues, and a struggling restaurant—Bangers. Fighting to keep the restaurant afloat, new management is brought in to shake things up to much of the staff’s dismay. From mishaps with complicated orders to walking on eggshells to impress the new managers, each episode explores the tireless work that goes into providing the perfect dining experience—despite the chaos and frustrations happening behind the scenes.

Watch the promo trailer here: GRATUITY NOT INCLUDED

Written and inspired by their first-hand experiences, Gratuity Not Included is the brainchild of a tight-knit community of friends—Chris June, Ronesha Strickland, Andrew Klasnic, and Megs Free. The group originally began as co-workers in a local Atlanta restaurant, started a book club, and has since grown to become a film-making family.

“With the current state of the COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on foodservice workers around the world, we hope to change how people view food-industry workers and to not take the work we do for granted. I would love for audiences to also understand that regardless of how different our lives and jobs may be, we’re all very similar beneath the surface,” said series actor/writer/producer, Chis June.

The Gratuity Not Included team is comprised completely of displaced service industry workers who are looking to push through these tough times brought upon by the COVID-19 pandemic together. The team is graciously accepting donations to help bring this project across the finish line. The Indiegogo campaign will run through July 31st and is open to any and all parties interested in making a donation toward their goal of $25,000.

The series is slated to premiere this fall and stars Megs Free as socially awkward restaurant manager Tiffany, Chris June as eternally-optimistic server Justin, and Andrew Klasnic as overconfident server Carter. The supporting ensemble includes Tom Minier, Joshua Gilyard, Isabella De Leon, and Payton Briggs Anderson.

Behind the scenes are director and producer, Ronesha Strickland; writer, editor, and director, Tom Minier; editor and cinematographer, Palmer Rubin; and filmmaker and composer Irving Molefe.

Follow @gratuitynotincluded on Instagram.

To donate, visit:  https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/gratuity-not-included–2

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