Gov. Mike DeWine's order restricting bars and restaurants to carry-out and delivery is a massive challenge for local eateries. Here are some ways you can help.
While the impact on public health is undeniably the biggest concern of the COVID-19 outbreak, the financial ripples will be felt for months or even years to come.
Every industry will be touched by the crisis, in some form, but perhaps none more immediately than bars and restaurants. On Sunday, Gov. Mike DeWine issued an order restricting all bars and restaurants to carry-out and delivery service only, which will likely lead to mass (and hopefully temporary) layoffs at a host of local eateries and watering holes. Along with the closures, Lt. Gov. Jon Husted announced measures to alleviate some of this financial burden, primarily through changes to Ohio’s unemployment law and state agency policies.
But we still need to eat during this time, and restaurants need the business more than ever. Here are some positive steps you can take to help local bars and restaurants navigate the difficult coming weeks.Get news and entertainment delivered to your inbox: Sign up for our daily newsletter
Order carryout, drive-through or curb-side pickup. While DeWine's order bans in-person dining, food service is allowed to continue via carryout, drive-through, delivery or curbside pickup. This means that coffee shops, bakeries, restaurants and even breweries and distilleries with retail fronts are modifying menus and customer interaction procedures. Many restaurants are instituting online/phone ordering with curbside pickup, so you don’t have to get out of your car.
Order delivery. Many local restaurants offer their own delivery services or subscribe to Uber Eats, DoorDash, GrubHub, you name it. Look for special offers of free or discounted delivery during this time. Some delivery services are even offering special discounts; GrubHub, for instance, is allowing restaurants to keep 100 percent of the profits for orders through the company. Ordering delivery also helps support community members who earn a living through rideshare and delivery services.
Buy giftcards. Even if you can’t stay and eat, you can still throw dollars to local restaurants by purchasing gift cards for later use. This helps the businesses maintain cash flow during a needed time. Depending on the restaurant, you can order these online and can pick them up or have them mailed directly to you.
Leave reusable items at home. While we normally recommend bringing your travel mug to your favorite coffee shop, just use the to-go containers for now. This minimizes the potential dangers of employees coming into contact with items that aren’t cleaned to industry standards. Many places are using recyclable or compostable cups these days anyway.
Stock up. If businesses offer non-perishable or freezable items, support them and stock your pantry at the same time. These items could include bread or pastries, meats and eggs from local farmers and butchers, six-packs of beer, bottles of wine or spirits, bags of coffee and more. We’ve seen breweries, bottle shops and coffee roasters organizing delivery, too.
Tip well. If you order carryout or delivery and have the ability to tip extra, please do. These shutdowns will impact hourly wage-earners particularly hard. So be nice and leave a good tip.