The rapidly intensifying COVID-19 pandemic has put a strain on most economic activity, but it’s the restaurant industry that’s perhaps taking the biggest blow. Since Tuesday morning, restaurants, bars, and cafes in New York City have been limited to take-out and delivery only, inevitably leading to a rise in unemployment among food and beverage workers. With no stimulus package or rent breaks in place for local small businesses, the shutdown is likely to decimate the industry. It’s up to consumers to help support these businesses during this time. Here’s how we can make sure our favorite restaurants are still standing when all of this is over:
Order take-out or delivery (and don’t forget to tip!)
Many NYC restaurants already work with major delivery services like Postmates, Caviar, Grubhub, and Seamless. If you’re ordering from a non-chain restaurant through UberEats, delivery fees will now be waived. And restaurants that don’t traditionally offer take-out or delivery are now expanding to offer those options, like HALL by ODO, Nami Nori, American Bar, and Marea.
Some spots will also be doing specials: The Butcher's Daughter has transformed each of their locations to "Butcher's Bodegas," offering everything from fresh produce to signature pantry items; Oath Pizza will be offering “Take + Bake Pizzas” in addition to their full menu; Da Toscano is selling quarts of sauce as well as a daily homemade pasta; Karazishi Botan is bringing in new ramen options just for take-out, such as a porcini mushroom-based sesame spicy soup.
And then there are those that are giving back: In addition to providing delivery options, Mother of Pearl, Honeybee’s, and Night Music will be providing free vegan lunches to NYC children at their locations, and they are collecting donations. In addition to offering take-out and delivery on Saturdays, Gertie will be partnering with Olmsted to transform their kitchens into relief centers, packing hundreds of to-go meals every night for furloughed restaurant workers.