The COVID pandemic is brutalizing every industry. Every industry has their experts, and I trust them to tell their stories. For the last 13 years, we have told the stories of the people in the food and libations industry and we have come to love and adore the local owners.
As you can imagine we have seen a lot. Due to the recent outbreak restaurants are closing and having a tough go of things. Many report business is down between 20-80 percent. Small, independent restaurants need our help the most. I’m not against chain restaurants. But right now—if you have the means—pick a couple independently owned places to support. Most chain restaurants have the financial means to weather the economic fallout of COVID (some independently-owned franchises are an exception). Most bistros or local spots you love do not.
What’s crushing them further is that restaurant profit margins have always been notoriously low. The way they make money is through the high markup on alcohol sales. With the mandate to close restaurants this has become a difficult time for restaurants as alchohol sales are limited.
What can you do? We’re trying to balance two things here—preventing the spread of a global pandemic, while also preventing economic ruin for our neighborhood restaurants and the untold number of locals employed by them. What we can do is order food to-go from the restuarants that are offerign this service. Many local favorites are offering curbside pickup. Several people we know have said, “we are committed to dining take out with our local restaurants twice a week to support them through this,” We like that idea to keep it simple and easy and strategic support the local business owner. If you are choosing to opt in for home dining only, buy a gift certificate from them for later use.
Bottom line is that this is all changing minute to minute. But for now, it looks like we can support local restaurants without putting our at-risk people at more risk, with take out and gift certificate purchases.