Since the start of the pandemic, local bars, a defining element of New Orleans culture, have suffered tremendously from public health and safety restrictions and guidelines. While done for public safety, these rules caused bars to experience a significant lack of customers. This has led to many businesses either closing down or laying off a sizable amount of their employees.
The Krewe of Red Beans has a plan to alleviate our local bars during these hard times. In February 2021, the Krewe of Red Beans set the "Bean Coin" plan into motion. Bean Coin, which is $10 for a single glass bean, will save local bars by creating a prepaid bar tab redeemable at a number of different bars across New Orleans. The more beans that are purchased means the higher prepaid bar tab that customers can enjoy at select bars, which have yet to be announced.
The fundraising period to purchase the Bean Coins ends on October 31, 2021. Afterwards, people will be able to use their Bean Coins tab starting January 6, 2022, when the beans are shipped.
However, bars need money right now in order to stay in business. So the Krewe of Red Beans will prepay 50 percent of the money they raise directly to the bars. This will support bartenders that might otherwise be laid off or cut some weight off of overhead expenses that they have no choice but to incur even when closed down, such as rent and insurance.
To manufacture the glass bean coins, the Krewe of Red Beans is partnering with Glass Half Full, a glass recycling operation founded by Tulane students.
If Bean Coin is successful, the Krewe of Red Beans will potentially replicate the initiative with a new coin design every single year as an annual campaign to support bars and the service workers they employ.
To purchase a Bean Coin or to help cover the cost of administration and equipment needed to create said Bean Coins, go make an online contribution through nolabeancoin.com.