It has been over a year since a localized outbreak of a mysterious illness in one city became a global pandemic and everything seemed to have come to a complete stop. We have done everything we could to keep our communities, our families and ourselves safe, however, businesses are taking a huge hit during these uncertain times, especially our foodservice industry. Many face permanent closure due to thin or nonexistent profit margins.

Here are four ways to help out your local restaurants while practicing safe social distancing.

Takeout, Curbside Service, and Delivery

Many restaurants are still open for business and offering takeout, curbside, and delivery. Popular food delivery apps such as Uber Eats and DoorDash have allowed customers to continue enjoying their favorite restaurants.

Order an extra serving of your favorite dish to keep on hand in the fridge or freezer to bolster your stockpile of food.

Both takeout and curbside service are deemed safe as long as you maintain the recommended six feet from others. Regulations have mandated restaurants to adopt additional safety and cleaning measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19 as much as possible.

Don’t forget to tip your foodservice and delivery workers! They are working hard to ensure you are able to enjoy your favorite meals as safely as possible.

Outdoor Dining

As COVID-19 cases decrease and tight regulations are lifted, restaurants are opening back up and slowly returning to normal via outdoor dining. Restaurants are creating spaces outside their normal brick and mortars to provide open air, well distanced and ventilated dining areas to maximize safety and minimize infection.

While utilizing this option, please be patient with your food service workers. We are all learning and making adjustments as we go, navigating our new normal. Certain processes that used to be so easy may now take a little extra time to ensure everyone’s comfort and safety.

Skip the Grocery Store

Many restaurants are now offering fresh produce or meal kits directly to customers. This is especially useful since grocery stores have experienced either having low/unstable stock or long lines to facilitate occupancy mandates.

Gift Cards

This is an easy way to help support the business you love right now and can continue to enjoy in the future.

*Many large chains will allow you to directly buy a gift card online but for more local restaurants you may have to use an intermediary like OpenTable.

Book Events in Advance

Similarly to gift cards, you can book a restaurant in advance. This will give restaurants the cash they need now and you can use the opportunity to take your mind off what’s going on. Whether it’s a birthday party or a holiday party, we can all use a glimpse of better times ahead.

The promise of future businesses may also help restaurants who are struggling prove to lenders that they are worth the investment.

We are all in this together and if you are able, let’s support the local businesses that need it!

DineLA is currently back in Los Angeles, starting today March 1st to March 14th. Twice a year, DineLA showcases the best of LA’s restaurants with prix-fixe menus with lunches ranging around $15 to $25 per person and dinners ranging from $25 to $65+ per person. DineLA has partnered with OpenTable so you can easily browse and reserve at one of the many participating restaurants.

Photo by Gabriella Clare Marino on Unsplash