Restaurants are the heart of America
I am a firm believer that restaurants are the heart of America and that the industry needs to be saved in order for the US to continue to thrive. The restaurant industry stimulates the economy in so many ways, by supporting our farmers and our fishermen, truck drivers and those that make the deliveries, the chefs, servers, and bartenders as well as their families. As Chef José Andrés of World Central Kitchen said so well “Restaurants in America are the DNA of a functioning America. We’ll not be an America as we know it if those restaurants don’t come back to be part of the American way of life.” (see his full interview with Anderson Cooper on CBS News).
The impact of COVID-19 on our food supply
The closure of restaurants due to COVID-19 did more than just directly impact their owners and staff, it completely disrupted our food supply chain! And without the appropriate distribution of resources, it doesn’t matter how much food we have because we won’t be able to get the food to the people that need it the most. It’s absolutely heartbreaking to see farmers having to leave their crops to rot while the food banks are overwhelmed and our citizens are hungry because we do not have the proper means to get the food where it needs to be.
Saving the restaurants does not just save a single industry, it will save so many from going hungry! Especially if the federal government steps in and utilizes the restaurants to distribute food to those most in need, which would help to not only stimulate the economy but also address a food crisis for those unable to work at this time. Although individuals like Chef José Andrés are lobbying to make this a reality, there are things that each of us can do as individuals to help our restaurants as well!
Tips to support local restaurants
Here are a few things you can do to support your favorite local restaurants and your community!
Buy gift cards
Our current situation is not permanent! Although we cannot gather at this time, we will be able to come together as soon as it is safe for everyone to do so. It may look a little different when we emerge from our homes, the wait staff may be wearing masks and gloves, you may have to make reservations in advance or eat a “linner” instead of brunch or dinner to ensure your safety and the safety of others. But we will dine out again! Help give your favorite lunch or date spot a boost by paying it forward for when you can visit them in person once more. Have a friend or family member with a quarantine birthday? Restaurant gift card! Which brings me to my next point…
I’m sure most of us are pretty familiar with utilizing DoorDash, Postmates, Uber Eats and Grubhub at this point, especially if you have to order groceries almost a week in advance as I do with personal shoppers being in such high demand. However, don’t forget to check in with your local restaurants on their websites since they may not have the means to use those services at this time or maybe are still trying to get things set up. I’d hate for you to have to eat another blah fast food meal or order from a chain when you could step up your game with some local fare and support small businesses at the same time.
Many local eateries are offering delivery themselves as well as curbside pickup (cuz I mean, who doesn’t love an essential trip out of the house these days). While some have their full menu available, others have nightly specials served family-style or are offering a limited menu to ensure your food is high quality and as fresh as can be. You’ll want to be sure to follow your faves on social media for the latest updates because many options are while supplies last! Oh and by the way, if you are in California you can also order cocktails to go, win-win!
Please be sure to always tip generously if you have the means to do so. The delivery workers and those preparing and packaging your food are working diligently to provide you with a delicious meal in the comfort of your own home while meeting the highest of safety requirements during this pandemic. Part of dining is taking care of those who have taken care of you 🙂
Post on social media!
Your local restaurants need all the exposure they can get! Many people aren’t aware that some places are still open for takeout so they may be overlooked as an option. By posting on social media, tagging the restaurant, checking in, sharing on your story, etc., you are providing free marketing for the restaurant and broadcasting to all of your followers that they are open for business. I’ve had several friends not realize that their favorite spots right around the corner from their houses are open until I mentioned it on IG. And boy were they excited! So you are doing everyone a favor really.
Even if you don’t have the means to spend money on takeout right now, posting latergrams of you and your friends brunching or of your plate of amazing french toast from months ago will still do the trick. So spread the love, post that pic, get your hashtag on, and save the restaurants!
What other creative ways can you think to support your favorite local eateries? If you work in the restaurant industry, are there other ways that we can help support you during these times? Let me know in the comments below.
I hope we can all gather again very very soon. Take care of yourselves and those dearest to you, and of course, wash your hands!
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