Thursday, June 8, 2023

How to Support Local Restaurants During COVID-19

I’ll be honest. These past couple of days have been tough for me. Real tough. I currently live in New Jersey, one of the most affected states in the nation when it comes to the coronavirus. In the past couple of weeks. I’ve seen fights break out due to toilet paper, people being forced to wait in lines for grocery store entry, and people break down in tears.

Oh, and the isolation? As we in North Jersey might say, “Fugghetaboutit!”

The thing is, I know I’m not the most hard-hit person out there. I still have a job. I still get paid. You know who isn’t seeing much money right now? Restaurant workers and the owners of the very mom and pop restaurants you love. Right now, they need our help—big time. So, how can you pitch in? Glad you asked…

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  1. If your neighborhood is offering bailout funds for small businesses, donate! The best nation in the world is “DO-NATION!” Many towns are now offering to donate to small landmark businesses impacted by the coronavirus lockdowns. For some places, this can be the difference between staying afloat and shutting down.
  2. Donate masks and gloves to restaurant workers. It sounds crazy, but it makes a huge difference. Restaurant workers are scared to go to work due to the infection, too. By giving them protective gear, you’re helping restaurants stay staffed and help boost their moral.
  3. Order takeout at least one time per week, from a local shop. While you might still have a hankering for McDonald’s, franchises aren’t in as dire a position as local stores. Every state in the union still allows restaurants to stay open for delivery or curbside pickup.

    Right now, most small restaurants are hurting for cash badly. Money matters, and not every company will survive this. By ordering out, you’re making sure that you will see them survive the downturn.
  4. Tip delivery drivers well, if they work for the restaurants. Actually, you should be doing this regardless, but still. Delivery drivers are part of the team and should be rewarded just as much as the guys in the kitchen.
  5. Promote your favorite businesses. Speaking of helping these restaurants out, now is a good time to recommend takeout to a friend. Everyone loves good food, and the truth is that you’ll be helping your community out when you’re talking up local places.
  6. Say encouraging things to those you know in the restaurant industry. Now is a time when everyone is scared. Everyone. They could use a pep talk just as much as you could.

It’s important to realize that COVID-19 quarantines aren’t going to be a permanent fixture in our society. This, too, shall pass. The thing is, we need to band together to make sure that the places and companies we hold so dear survive too.

I’m not saying that you should panic about seeing your favorite restaurants vanish, but I am saying you should do something about it. As one foodie to many others, now is a time to make the difference in peoples’ lives around you.

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Ossiana Tepfenhart
Ossiana Tepfenhart
Ossiana Tepfenhart is a food critic, writer, and at home culinary enthusiast!


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