How to support local restaurants during quarantine
Quarantine is hitting us all hard. But we fail to forget that the small businesses are getting hit the hardest. Other chains like Ruby Tuesdays or McDonald’s can stay open with just take out and delivery, but smaller, local joints don’t have that luxury. They have a smaller staff and need to rely on a decent-sized income to survive.
So many local restaurants are hurting right now with their doors shut. Government funding may help a little but that doesn’t make up all their lost profits. But there is a way you can help, and some ways you can help without leaving your house or spending money. Help keep your favorite local joint open.
Buy a gift card (if possible)
You may not have seen it the last time you went, but a lot of local businesses now sell food gift cards or vouchers for future visits. Stock up now on stocking stuffers for Christmas, birthday presents, or just for when you’re able to go out to eat again. Many even do e-gift cards so you can buy them digitally.
Always contact the restaurant directly for gift cards, whether by phone or their website. Third-party websites like Groupon may offer deals, but they also take a large portion of the money for themselves, so the restaurant makes hardly anything off the deal.
Book a future event/order catering
Of course, we’re talking at least 6 months ahead for your event though. But if you’re trying to reschedule a conference, party, or even your wedding, look to your local restaurants for a venue or to get catering trays. Some may even be able to offer full-on catering services for your event.
While you most likely still have to pay a deposit, remember that deposit is going towards keeping the restaurant afloat until their doors reopen again.
Post a review/tell people about your positive experiences
As a local, it’s hard to see why people wouldn’t want to go to your favorite restaurants. But people new to the area or those just visiting need a little push to go to the right place. You probably found this place from word of mouth of co-workers and friends, to begin with anyway.
Leave reviews on Yelp and Facebook to help boost its rating. Tell friends or family how much you love this place, and they should stop in for a visit once quarantine is broken. Your positive opinion may not mean anything to you, but it can mean a lot to the restaurant needing new guests.
Now, this seems obvious, but when we mean take out and delivery, we mean order directly from the restaurant. Similar to the Groupon scenario, apps like Postmates, Grubhub, and DoorDash are third party companies these restaurants rely on. But they gauge fees from both the restaurant and you, leaving both of you feeling cheated.
We understand if you’re stuck inside and need to use it out of convenience. But if you’re able to go out on your own, or the restaurant has their own delivery drivers, order from the restaurant directly. Not only are you going to pay less, but the restaurant will walk away with 100% of the profit from your order.