Four ways to support local eateries
Discover ideas to help support your favorite local restaurants
Photo by Natalia - stock.adobe.com
The way we interact with one another may be fundamentally affected by COVID-19, but our desire to help others has probably never been stronger.
As the nation comes to terms with the new realities brought on by COVID-19, many are worried about the future of their favorite local restaurants. Like most businesses, restaurants have been ordered to close their doors throughout the country. However, even if their doors are closed for public interaction, many have continued operating and providing food to customers. Leaders across the state are encouraging those who can afford it to practice the ‘Oklahoma Standard’ and support these local businesses. While there are countless ways to be a good neighbor, here are some of thet most popular ways to help your favorite restaurant.
1) Order food to go or get it delivered
Most restaurants have adjusted their business model to delivery and carry out only, meaning they now depend on these methods for the majority of sales. Ordering food for pickup or delivery is the easiest way to help struggling restaurants.
Make sure you check the restaurant’s website and social media accounts before planning meals, though. Many restaurants created limited menus and are working on different hours. Familiarize yourself with what is available before calling to place your order.
If possible, opt for pickup or see if restaurants have in-house delivery. Delivery services like Postmates charge restaurants a fee to process orders which keeps some money from going directly to local businesses.
2) Buy a gift card and/or merchandise
When gift cards are purchased, funds are immediately deposited to the restaurant. Combined with other support, purchasing gift cards can significantly help small restaurants and their employees.
If you’re able, consider stocking up on gift cards. They can make great gifts for future holidays or birthdays. On the other hand, you can stock up for yourself and feel like you’re eating for free when you finally get a chance to use them.
Many restaurants also sell merchandise like T-shirts, hats and mugs, and some sell edible items like sauces, jams and seasonings. Buying these things can help your favorite spot get through difficult times.
3) Tip well and write positive reviews
If you do decide to order food, make sure you leave a good tip. Servers rely on tips to make ends meet, but with restaurants closed, they won’t be making nearly as much as they’re used to.
A virtual tip jar has been set up to help hospitality workers affected by COVID-19. People can tip a random server in Oklahoma through Venmo or Cash App. Visit serviceindustry.tips, click on your city and make a tip.
Another easy way to support businesses is by writing positive reviews. Though this type of support is more moral than monetary, it can still bring a smile to restaurant owners. Additionally, when restaurants reopen, it could help attract more people.
4) Make a donation
Many restaurants across the country have set up fundraisers to help with finances and keep paying employees, but even those without official fundraisers would likely welcome monetary donations.
It is a tough time for everyone, but if you’re able to, reach out to your favorite restaurant and see if they have a fund you can contribute to or if they would welcome donations anyway.
While these things can help restaurants get through financially difficult times, reaching out with positive words can also go a long way. As it becomes more important to practice social distancing to protect our vulnerable neighbors, it’s also crucial to come together and support one another.