With governments around the world advising increasingly stringent precautions against the spread of COVID-19, the food industry needs help. Already, thousands of restaurants around the world have been made to drastically change their business model or shut up shop altogether as customers are forced to stay at home. This is an issue for everyone associated with the sector.
Given the circumstances, it’s easy to feel powerless. However, while there’s no denying that the future remains incredibly uncertain, there are still things that you can do to support your favourite food businesses. It might not seem like much, but a little can go a long way. In a situation like this, even the smallest action helps to make a difference.
1. Order takeaway
It might seem obvious, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t help. As a response to the outbreak, restaurateurs have set about converting their dine-in business model to a delivery only offer. This includes everything from fast food favourites, to fine dining institutions. With footfall severely restricted, ordering food for delivery or pick up is an essential way to provide businesses with some much-needed cash.
2. Tip generously
For many workers in hospitality, gratuity is an indispensable part of their income. With almost all customers now opting to stay at home, either through choice or by force, this vital revenue stream is critically compromised. It’s therefore now more important than ever to tip generously when you’re getting food delivered or going to pick it up.
3. Donate to support funds
As a response to the situation, several businesses have set up GoFundMe-style support funds in a bid to stay afloat and help staff through the current crisis. If you are lucky enough to be relatively secure as the situation develops, donating even a small amount to these efforts could be vital for individual restaurants and the staff who work for them.
4. Buy merch
In addition to offering food, many restaurants have expanded into the retail sector. If you’ve had your fill of takeaways, purchasing some branded memorabilia is a great way to support businesses, including breweries, bakeries and anyone else involved in food production. Whether it’s T-shirts or tote bags, there are loads of ways you can stock up, represent and show solidarity.
5. Buy gift cards
Another way to help provide businesses with a much-needed cash injection without actually ordering any food is through gift cards. By purchasing the cards, you will be able support restaurants now and enjoy a meal later when the situation returns to something approaching normalcy. Perfect as a present, either for yourself or somebody else.
6. Leave reviews
If money is tight, you can still show your support for local businesses. As per Food and Wine, many chefs and businesses owners are encouraging their customers to leave positive reviews of their experience on Google or Yelp in order to provide some moral support if nothing else.
7. Be vocal
If the last few days have made one thing clear, it’s that many proposed government measures don’t go far enough. Between “loans” in Britain and big business tax breaks in the United States, many have claimed that little thought is being given to the businesses on the frontline in the fight against Coronavirus. By contacting your local representatives, you can both help raise awareness and apply pressure where it is needed.
8. Check-in with friends
This outbreak has thrown millions of careers into uncertainty and is causing many people to fear for their livelihoods. If you know anyone who works in the food industry, check-in with them to see how they’re holding up and offer your support. Given the circumstances, a few kind words can go a long way.
Whatever your relationship to the food industry, it’s obvious that we are living through something significant. Now more than ever, doing what we can to support each other is vital. Times are tough and we could all use a little kindness. Whatever industry you work in, ultimately we’re all in this together.