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COVID-19 / Current State of Affairs

March 19, 2020
Cartel Staff

This page will be updated as new information develops.


Mar 30 – Although we've already seen shelter in place orders in Austin, Texas, and Palm Springs, California, this afternoon, Arizona Governor Doug Ducey ordered that the state shelter in place, allowing only essential businesses to remain open. While businesses serving food and beverage to be consumed off the premises are considered essential businesses, we are in the process of looking at the best next steps for the safety of our staff and customers. We'll circle back with updates as they're decided.


Mar 20 – A tip fund has been implemented for all laid off employees to request from. 20% of all gift card sales at our stores and on our online store will go directly toward that fund. Any hourly baristas at those three stores are being tipped normally; all other staff receive their full salary and cannot receive tips by law, therefore those portions of tips in the pool will go directly toward that fund.


Mar 19, 12 pm – Tempe Mayor Mark Mitchell is ordering bars, recreational and entertainment venues to close starting tonight at 8 p.m. That also includes in-restaurant dining. Delivery and curbside pickup are still allowed.

Mar 19 – We went to bed Tuesday night ready to implement a drastic and heartbreaking plan that would allow for us to sustain 80% of our people through this unprecedented time. When we woke up in the morning on Wednesday, we realized that we would be forced to lay off over 100 of our friends, family, and colleagues. Our hope is that we can hold out this storm and survive long enough to be able to bring them back onboard.

As it stands today, Cartel Coffee Lab is roughly 10 people and 3 locations. The managers and baristas still serving our loyal customers are receiving their normal pay. Funds are prioritized to pay those who continue to work. PTO of returning laid off staff will continue to accrue where they left off. Those enrolled in medical benefits will continue to have coverage through the end of this month, whether or not they've been laid off.

There are no pay cuts aside from the leadership team and owners. They’ve collectively agreed to go without pay and continue to discuss the drastic changes that will have to be made to how we approach everything.

I'm a customer and I'd like to help


I'm an employee who's been laid off

Consider seeking government assistance in your state immediately. There are often week-long wait times, make sure to get a head start and apply immediately.

To request funds from the tip fund, please contact with your specific requests.