I know you keep hearing it, but the restaurant industry is in deep, deep, water right now. Restaurants in The Takeout’s home base of Chicago are dramatically changing the way they do business, but many places still have to make the heartbreaking decision to close. This affects people I know, close friends and colleagues. There are a lot of people looking for jobs.
Illinois COVID-19 numbers are rising, and we’ve had to shut down indoor dining once again. But how do we support restaurants this election year, from a political standpoint, to ensure this doesn’t get any worse? Bon Appétit tackles this question with a few practical suggestions.
You can start by getting ahold of your senator, and ask them to support the HEROES Act, which includes the Restaurants Act that will support 11 million people employed by independent restaurants. Eleven million. That’s the population of New York City and then some.
Checking out your local food deserts is important too, to see who needs serious assistance. They’re closer to you than you know. We’ve got a Love Fridge nearby, and whenever I’ve dropped by to stock it up, it’s been empty, which means people have been leaning on it to feed themselves and their families. There’s many people in the industry that live in low income areas (I know how much some people make and it’s heartbreaking).
And of course, there’s mental health to consider. NAMI (National Alliance of Mental Illness), while not restaurant industry-specific, helps people who are dealing with more mental strain than they can handle.
Don’t forget to grab some takeout from your local mom and pop shop. Call the restaurant directly instead of ordering through a third party, as Grubhub, DoorDash, et al, can take up to 30% of each order. If you’re on the fence for dinner tonight, think about some pickup.
I know it seems overwhelming, but every bit helps.