Dallas Man Helps Develop Platform for Service Industry Workers Impacted by COVID-19

The platform was developed by a local team who wanted to find a way to keep service industry employees employed during the pandemic

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With thousands of restaurants around the country closed because of coronavirus and their employees out looking for jobs, a Dallas man helped launch a “recognition platform," as he calls it, to link North Texans up with work.

Mark Bunting is part of the team that put a unique twist on connecting service industry employees with income.

“That honey-do list, odd jobs - we’re rolling into spring now. We’ve got beds that need to be prepared, leaves to rake, yards to mow, cars to wash,” said Bunting, the CEO of Atta and a professor of entrepreneurship at the University of Texas at Austin.

Jobs posted to the Facebook group "Atta - Service Industry Advocates (DFW)" are just a keystroke away.

“It’s a riff on ‘atta girl,’ ‘atta boy.'" Bunting, a former restaurant executive, said. "That idea of acknowledging and praising people. So many people don’t understand that many restaurant workers don’t live paycheck to paycheck, but rather tip out to tip out."

It’s free to join the Facebook group, and postings respect social distancing guidelines.

Jobs start at a minimum of $15 per hour, and go up.

“One hundred dollars to clean my garage, $75 to rake my leaves, $50 to wash two cars,” Bunting said.

There are virtual Spanish classes, baking classes, bartending classes and even babysitting services.

“How about a virtual babysitter to take an hour to do story time with your kids to give parents a break for an hour?” Bunting said.

Over 1,200 people have joined the page, and he said he hoped job postings would continue to grow.

“The people that really deserve the praise are the people posting the jobs. We just need the work volume. If we can just get everyone enthusiastic about posting these jobs and making them available, that’s where the real heroes are,” he said.

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