It’s hard to believe that a virus has power over humanity. For perhaps the first time in our lives, we’ve been told to stay home and keep our distance from others. It’s a foreign concept, but one we need to take seriously in order to flatten the curve.
On March 16, Toronto’s medical officer of health asked that the city’s restaurants close, with the option to do takeout or delivery only. Many restaurants that once had month-long waitlists have closed their shops – unsure of where the next pay check will come from. Here are some ways we can support our local restaurants and suppliers during the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Purchase gift cards from your favourite restaurant to use later. This not only provides an immediate financial boost, but it could be the difference between staying open and permanently closing. One way you can do this is through the app Give Local. Purchasing a gift card is a win-win: you help a local business, and can daydream about your next meal out after this crazy time is behind us!
- We live in a digital world, and, in times like these, we’re blessed to have Uber Eats and other third-party delivery apps. Without leaving your home, you can enjoy everything from pizza to Thai food at the touch of a button. And, Uber Eats has a $0 delivery fee. When ordering online, consider supporting a local shop or family-run business, and tip generously for delivery employees who are working hard to keep us fed.
- For the first time, many restaurants that have been dine-in only are launching take-out businesses to stay afloat. Le Phenix (from the team behind Chantecler) has a new takeout service, Phenix 2 Go, with succulent French classics (check out their Instagram for a peek!). If you want to recreate the nostalgia of Sunday brunch, Lady Marmalade is offering curbside pickup to minimize social interactions.
- While it’s convenient to support chain stores during this time, many local food stores, grocers and ghost kitchens are offering everything from food delivery to meal kits. Power Kitchen offers meal prep services with plenty of healthy and customized options.
- When you find something that you love, don’t forget to spread the positive vibes! Tell your family and friends about a delicious meal you ordered from a neighbourhood joint, or show it off on your Insta stories (don’t forget to tag the business!).
Let’s band together, and do what we can during this difficult time to help small businesses stay in business.