As health officials work to slow the spread of COVID-19 (the novel coronavirus), some of the precautions they’re taking will likely have a big impact on restaurants.
Perhaps the most impactful precaution is the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s recommendation against gatherings of 50 or more people. After the recommendation was issued on March 15, many restaurants, bars, and other dining areas across the United States were temporarily closed.
If there are restrictions on eating out in your area, it’s important to follow them to help prevent COVID-19 from spreading. But it’s also important to support your local businesses — and the people employed there — during this difficult time.
The following are three things anyone can do to support your favorite restaurant during the COVID-19 outbreak.
1. Buy gift cards
The CDC’s recommendation to avoid gatherings of 50 or more is temporary, and dining areas won’t stay closed forever. Buying a gift card directly from the restaurant is a great way both to support their business now and prepare for a party later.
2. Order takeout or delivery
Even if you can’t eat inside, you can still order food from your favorite restaurant. Go through the drive-thru or ask for your food to be delivered. If the restaurant offers their own delivery service, choose that first over using a third party.
If you’re wondering whether it’s safe to eat food you haven’t prepared yourself, don’t worry. Food workers are trained to follow strict personal hygiene standards as well as cleaning and sanitizing procedures according to the Food Code. In addition, there is no evidence that COVID-19 can spread through food.
3. If you are able, tip generously
The final thing that anyone can do to support restaurants is give a generous tip whenever you order a food delivery. The employees will appreciate it!
In this uncertain time, we can all pitch in and do what we can to support our communities. In addition to supporting local businesses, you might consider donating any extra food you may have. There are food banks across the nation that are taking donations to help those in need.
For more information about COVID-19, including more tips for how you can prevent it, visit the CDC’s website.
— Jessica Pettit