Opinion: Support your local restaurants

Flyer made by Vanessa Ferguson. Photo courtesy Vanessa Ferguson

While it may seem harmless to place orders through popular online delivery apps such as Uber Eats, GrubHub, Postmates and DoorDash, but these third-party delivery platforms often take 30 to 40 percent off every order from the restaurant.

Here are some ways that you can still support your local restaurants without hurting them during this ongoing pandemic.

  1. Contact your local restaurant directly

Instead of being so quick to order food through a delivery app. Perhaps you should contact that restaurant directly to place your order. You can do this by phone or even sometimes through their website.

  1. Buy gift cards

Buying gift cards now can help save your local restaurants later. Even though many small businesses don’t have a way to sell and process gift cards online. It doesn’t hurt to try and see if your restaurant does. “Paneau” and “Giveandgetlocal.com” are just two platforms that makes it easier for businesses to sell virtual gift cards and process them digitally.

When you buy those gift cards, those funds are deposited into the restaurant’s account. It’s a win-win situation. When you get the chance to use those gift cards, it will feel like you’re getting to eat for free.

  1. Buy some restaurant merchandise

You already have a gift card. Might as well buy some merchandise to go along with it.

Photo of “SweetPea Cafe” merchandise that can be purchased in store. Photo courtesy Local restaurant “SweetPea Cafe” in Tallahassee

One way to help restaurants, even those that might be temporarily closed, is by purchasing their merchandise. Many local restaurants have merchandise either online or in store that you can buy. Tote bags, T-shirts, sweatshirts, hoodies, beanies and coffee tumblers can be seen in restaurants.

  1. Use social media and rite positive reviews

An easy and quick way to support your local favorite restaurants right now without having to spend any money is by writing positive reviews online. Google and Yelp are strongly recommended when it comes to leaving online reviews. Be generous with your recommendations as well to your friends and family. Not a fan of leaving reviews? Well, say no more. Following your local favorite restaurant on social media and making a post about it is great too. Word of mouth goes a long way. Like, share, and repost. Three little things that seem so small go a long way.

  1. Check Groupon

Groupon made its own effort to “#HelpSaveLocal”

Many local restaurants and businesses have offers posted on Groupon. When the economy opens back up stocking up on these Groupon discounts is something you and your wallet won’t regret.

More and more restaurants are closing every day as it becomes harder to survive during the COVID-19 pandemic. Thousands of people working in the restaurant industry have lost their jobs. Support your local restaurant because it matters. Support your local restaurant because at the end of the day, “We’re all in this together.”