Big Table’s third location launched in San Diego in early 2019. San Diego is home to over 7000 restaurants, 500 hotels and there are roughly 186,000 employed in the industry. The average cost of living for a Single Parent with One Child is $55,000. The average Industry pay for a full-time employee is $28,849. Big Table comes alongside these hardworking individuals when they experience a temporary setback to offer support, encouragement, and hope.

There is so much work to do to care for our San Diego industry workers.

Won't you join us?


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I can’t tell you enough how much it means to me to have all the care and support Big Table has offered. With all the sudden changes to my life, our family couldn’t do this without you!

Ema was working as a server at a popular breakfast spot in San Diego when we met her. Unfortunately, Ema’s life has been filled with chronic pain due to a progressive spinal deteriorating condition. Now in her adult life working as a waitress, it has been an increasingly aggravating battle working through the pain.

As the pain and discomfort worsened, she decided to have another surgery to remove and replace the existing screws up and down her spine to help improve her quality of life. During surgery, she suffered cardiac arrest. Luckily, the doctors were able to revive her. Sadly, because of other complications during surgery, she had to have her left leg partially amputated. A completely life-altering circumstance.

We were able to provide Ema with crucial rental and utility bill assistance, so her family could keep the lights on while she was in the hospital. We also helped with credit card payments to meet their cost-of-living needs as well as a wheelchair and shower chair to help her adapt to her new life.

Prior to surgery she had a beaming personality filled with energy, positivity, and love for life. Despite all that she has been through, she has maintained that light and love, and we will continue to support her on the long road to healing.

San Diego

unexpected 20s

Want to get involved now? Try sharing some U20s! This is a great place for individuals and small groups to start partnering with Big Table. Big Table provides small envelopes that you fill with $20 bills and give out when in a restaurant or hotel. Simple and amazingly effective. Look for one person working in a restaurant or hotel invisible to others, or one that is having a bad day. It very well could be someone in the kitchen or behind the scenes. Then give them the Unexpected 20 envelope with a $20 bill inside. Tell them it is simply a gift for them…no strings attached. This is not payment or a tip, it is a gift. After the Unexpected 20 is delivered email us with a story of what you noticed or felt at stories@bigtable.org.

Need envelopes? You can print your own or contact your city and we’d love to send you some.


community resources
for hospitality employees

contact us


(619) 717-9923

Office and Mailing Address

7801 Mission Center Court
Suite 320
San Diego, CA 92108

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