How You Can Help
I’m Brian, and the French Quarter of New Orleans is my home. Four years ago, I quit my 'real job' and became a full-time tour guide. I have never found more joy than to share my city, the city I love. I literally walk out my front door in the French Quarter and meet people from all over the world to share my city. It’s the best job in the world! I worked for other tour operators for three years and then embarked on my own tour operator business called ‘Brian The Tour Guide.'
As I began selling out my small tour groups, I started recruiting talented people to be tour guides too. I built up to three additional tour guides and one box office support person. I secured the name 'Haunted AF Tours' and a beautiful location on Pirate’s Alley next to St. Louis Cathedral. The idea was to start our small tours with a location, bathroom, and even drinks for the guests. Then, without much warning, the coronavirus (COVID-19) hit. I didn’t hesitate to pull all guides off the streets as to minimize risks to our guests, guides, and our neighborhood.
I am certain that as an organization, ‘Brian the Tour Guide’/ ‘Haunted AF Tours’ will survive. We’ve put things in the 'deep freeze' until it’s safe to get back out there again. Banks, landlords, and vendors have been more than willing to work with us. My main concerns are startup expenses on our return to the streets and my employees: Amelia, Anthony, Georgianna, and Kamille.
A tour guide in New Orleans functions typically as a contract 1099 employee – meaning they are responsible for paying their own taxes. This status has put them in a gray area with regard to unemployment compensation and benefits. While some service industry emergency funds are available, tour guides are seldom included. I have promised everyone that we are a team and no one will go hungry. I’ve been direct depositing weekly 'hardship' payments, but we could use your help. I didn’t want to beg for handouts but then considered EARNING IT. Here’s what I’ve dreamed up:
If you plan on coming to New Orleans in the future, please consider a gift card. Each one is a ticket to the tour of your choice. You may buy multiples of $39 each. These prepaid funds will go to ensure our future business operations and aid the guides in staying healthy, eating, and supporting families. I’ve already committed nearly $3000 in personal savings to ensure ongoing ‘hardship' payments to employees, so consider your investment doubled. The goal is a simple $3900 in total gift card sales – that translates to only 100 gift cards. We will ultimately earn it at any time it’s presented plus cards are fully transferable. You will be recognized in your group as a VIP and Patron, given a CROWN, and purchased a COCKTAIL to recognize your investment that kept all of us afloat during this crisis.
There are so many ways to help in this COVID-19 crisis, and this is just one of many. Please invest in us! We promise to make good on your good deed! Thank you for your consideration. The 'Buy a Gift Card' button below takes your directly to the gift card purchase page. This form allows you to adjust for multiples so feel free to purchase more than one.
C'mon, you know you want a crown :) ~ Brian the Tour Guide