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How to Help Your Favorite Restaurants Now

April 15, 2020

Original content c/o: James Beard Foundation by Maggie Borden

Our industry is in crisis. The COVID-19 pandemic has shuttered restaurants, forced millions into unemployment, and left us with a future that is uncertain at best. Efforts are happening on the ground nationwide, from communities rallying around their local businesses, to national calls on Congress and our own relief fund. In this landscape, every small action helps, even for diners who are stuck under stay-at-home orders. With that in mind, we've rounded up suggestions and resources for aiding your local eateries, from donations to delivery to merch and more.

Plating at SXSW photo by Laura Hajar
Photo: Laura Hajar

  • Order take-out or delivery. Consider calling restaurants directly, and tip generously, especially when using a third-party delivery service, since they take a cut of each order.
  • Buy gift cardsdining bonds, or merch from your favorite restaurants
  • Donate to nonprofits who are working to support chefs, restaurateurs, and workers. Bon Appétit and the Infatuation have great lists of organizations supporting communities across the country
  • Call your government officials! The CARES Act may have passed Congress, but there's still plenty of work to be done. Follow the Independent Restaurant Coalition to see how you can help to save restaurants today.

We at the James Beard Foundation look forward to being able to dine among friends. Until then, we will do everything we can to save the restaurant industry and everyone it supports, from dishwashers to bartenders and servers to cooks, farmers, and producers. Join us in this crucial fight.