Even in the best of times, restaurants are tough businesses to operate — and now more than ever, your favorite restaurants are being faced with even more hardships as a result of COVID-19. A lack of consumer demand, fading in-dining experiences, and a work-from-home workforce that has reduced the lunch hour crowds have caused restaurants to get creative with their take-out offerings.
Fortunately, there are still ways in which you can help support your local restaurants!
What happens when you shop and support local businesses?
- More money will be kept in your local economy.
- You create local jobs.
- You help the environment.
- You create more choices and promote cultural diversity through food.
- You have a say in products and services.
- You support creativity and growth.
If you want to read more about why supporting local is important for your community, check out our blog post Why Support Local.
Foodee supports our communities by partnering exclusively with locally-owned restaurants, so we wanted to highlight ways to ensure their survival.
Here are 5 ways to support local restaurants during COVID-19:
1) Purchase restaurant gift cards
Looking for ways to support local business without leaving your home? Shopping for someone else but not sure what to give them? Buy a gift card! Support your local bars and restaurants by purchasing gift cards for yourself, family, and friends. You can give your local restaurant some confidence by spending even $20 on a gift card to treat yourself later.
Here are some local restaurants offering gift cards:
- Miss Siam, Vancouver
- Burmese Kitchen, San Francisco
- Papyrus, Toronto
- Walia, Silicon Valley
- Chop Shop Casual Urban Eatery, Denver
- Kuma’s Corner, Chicago
- All-Star Burger, Austin
- Duffeyroll Bakery, Denver
- Printer’s Cafe, Silicon Valley
2) Use delivery services that specialize in local restaurant catering
Did you know that on average 18% of a restaurant’s revenue comes from catering? By ordering meals for your team, you maintain employee morale, while staying safe and giving back to the community. For every $100 you spend at locally owned businesses, $68 will stay in the community, so give your team exposure to all the amazing local restaurants around you.
3) Donate to a cause
Many restaurants are turning to GoFundMe pages to stay open. They are also working with various organizations to help support the community through this difficult time. Even a few dollars could help someone get dinner on the table, so check out your favorite restaurant and see what you can give. A little goes a long way.
Here are some wonderful community relief organizations that you can support:
- Second Harvest
- Palmetto Superfoods For Healthcare – Delivery
- Food Rescue
- Restaurant Workes Community Relief Fund
4) Buy some merchandise!
If there was ever a time to show support for your local businesses, it is now. Many local restaurants have their own line of merchandise — and this is a great time to buy a few items. Buy a mug from your corner coffee shop or cozy up in the comfort of your own home and order from online gift shops. Buy yourself a T-shirt to show your support!
Below is a list of businesses offering some goods!
- Check out Vancouver’s 33 Acres’ large selection of tote bags, hats, caps, hoodies, and more!
- Alicia’s Tamales has some delicious dinner kits ready for you in San Francisco.
- Lucky Lab Coffee in Austin is serving some great mugs, classic blend coffee, and an assortment of stickers!
- Grab some ready-to-go frozen dim sum from Toronto’s Dumpling House for an easy dinner treat.
5) Write positive reviews and engage with restaurants on social media
And lastly, spread kindness and optimism. It’s needed more than ever now. Write positive reviews, even if your food was catered or delivered. Restaurant reviews are critical nowadays. When choosing a spot to take family, friends, partners, or clients, many people rely on reviews — so help get the word out and give your local restaurants some virtual love and appreciation!
Let’s strengthen our communities one local restaurant at a time.