Restaurants are among the businesses severely impacted by the attempt to curb the spread of COVID-19. Many have been forced to close, laying off employees indefinitely, while others have been scrambling to adjust to rapidly changing regulations for take-out and delivery service.
While many will require a major influx of cash to keep them afloat by way of loans and federal aid, there are ways you can help support restaurants during this crisis.
Begin by supporting locally owned, independent restaurants. Many of these establishments do not have the reserves that larger corporately owned chains might and operate on very thin margins. If they currently provide benefit
s such as health insurance, many will not be able to continue to do so. Many will only be able to keep a few key staff members on the payroll throughout this crisis, if at all. They will have to advocate for themselves to receive loans, grants and forbearances. As a result of COVID-19, financial and industry experts say as many as 30%of independent restaurants will close.
Buy gift cards
Buying gift cards now can help your local restaurants have cash on hand to keep paying staff and bills during these times. Many can be purchased online, allowing customers to buy from home, without interaction. Additionally, the national reservation service, Open Table, has waived gift card fees to all its partner restaurants.
Order take-out and delivery
While regulations are changing daily, North Carolina restaurants continue to be able to offer take-out and delivery service. Some are serving their full menus, while others have a limited menu designed for take-out. Many are offering specials on family-style meals, or even multi-day meals to go. Visit social media sites for the most up-to-date information on hours and offerings.
Share on social media
Another way to support restaurants is to use Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter to show how you are supporting local restaurants right now. Take photos of take-out meals and share your customer service experiences to encourage others to support your favorite places. Share posts from restaurants you follow to help increase their social media presence, or join a local on-line foodie group to share ideas on how to support restaurants throughout the Cape Fear region.
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