Covid-19, and how to support the restaurant industry?


Some thoughts from observing this board, social media, and what’s going on out there:

  1. As others have said, buy gift certificates of your favorite restaurants and establishments. Assuming things are in the clear, you can redeem them in the future or just use them if placing orders online.

  2. Order take out from them, e.g. if they are partnered with the likes of UberEats, Postmates, GrubHub, Yelp Delivery apps if you want to spice things up at home and don’t want to cook yourself.

  3. Or old school pick up the phone and place an order with them either delivery or pickup yourself. Tip your delivery driver well. Ditto for restaurant folks if they’re doing the delivery and not through a 3rd party. The advantage of this is that you have more control over the menu in the ordering process than what the food delivery apps have listed. Especially true for Chinese restaurants that are flexible with certain combinations/custom orders that their menu might not have. e.g. bell pepper wet chow fun vs beef chow fun (dry fry).

Many restaurants in my area have already started migrating towards options 2 and 3 and informing through social media, in case people forgot about takeout and delivery. Even a favorite ramen shop thought about how to do takeout properly and is executing it.

  1. Continue to visit the establishments in person, which will still come at a cost or risk (even before you reach the restaurant), not just your health but the social aspect of it and judgement of others for breaking social distancing norms to slow down the spreading and endangering others. If you must, find a better time to go when it’s less busy. Pretty sure that favorite and well known neighborhood place of yours has already socialized the fact they are spending more time cleaning and using industrial grade cleaners and sanitizing, unless it’s a greasy hole in the wall joint.

Last but not least, take pictures of your great looking delivery food (tag the restaurant of course) and share to give people ideas of what they can order and eat instead of stashes of hoarded Costco instant noodles and spam (which eventually may result in quicker consumption of their hoarded Costco toilet paper).


I’m personally doing #2 and #3 (Northern Cafe and Gu Yi this past wk… And both were very good).


Thanks @beefnoguy. Not a problem. We already do #2 and #3… a lot. If this keeps up I’ll post some of our takeout right here if peeps don’t mind - we already have 3 Coronavirus restaurant threads. If they do mind they can start a new one. :wink:

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Any place else? Would a local paper be interested in this as a periodic column?

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I’d appreciate your take-out pic :camera: posts! :pray: :pray: :pray:

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Okay, I’m working on my Last Supper report right now then I’ll do it. I have to see who is actually still delivering first.

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I don’t understand? :slightly_smiling_face:

In the context of social distancing a newspaper might be interested in this info. Maybe inspire people to do the same. ?

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Ohhh, wish I had the time.


Correction, there’s about 5 Coronavirus threads!

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  1. Check other discounted offerings (e.g. groupon) in case your favorite place is offering some special deal

  2. Order bulk cooked food or boxed meals (food that freezes well too) and think catering sized portions, or have the restaurants prep versions upon agreement, ready to cook once you bring home. Think bento box or something the restaurant can work with. Any business is better than none and if an establishment doesn’t have any business going on they will do whatever it takes to make you happy even if they are rations for the near future / easy to assemble and eat at home.

  3. Show kindess to others…some of you have already heard some elderly begging somebody younger to help them buy things from grocery shops and Costco where it is a mob scene. Maybe pay for a few of their meals using options 2 or 3 and have it de delivered. Expand your network to help those you want to support. You can also show kindness by not infringing your views on others of what’s right or wrong in an attacking and rude way (generally most of us give benefit of the doubt, but if someone just flats out goes on the attack because they don’t like to be told what to do even if others are setting them straight with facts, that’s wrong)…we already live in a fractured world with political dissent, no need to kill each other over eating out and toilet paper.

  4. If you are friends of a chef or have multiple friends in the industry, just contact them directly and check up on them to see how they are doing (of course this should go without saying) and offer words of encouragement and support, and/or shoulder to cry on. Everyone’s going through a rough patch but together we can have some sense of hope and do our best. If you are physically at an establishment owned by a good friend of yours, buy a bottle of alcohol from them with your meal and share a pour with the owners or staff. If you don’t even know if the business will survive, then at least create some fond memories despite the looming sadness. I just learned at least two dim sum seafood restaurants up here will shutter for good, and to make matters worse they can hold large groups of people. Others in the area will shutter for a month to ride it out.

  5. Tell your friends and socialize the restaurants you really care about and how they are adapting to the current situation and managing. Maybe this is a time where it’s ok to share ideas on how to keep above water a bit.

  6. If you are in a position where you can introduce restaurant owners and suppliers and connections to each other, to pool resources and figure out these tough times together, so much the better.

Not related but some restaurants and shops in Hong Kong started giving out free masks with every purchase to draw customers in. Or you can think about what draws you and others in and share it with the places you care about.


We are ordering a lot more takeout/delivery. If we go out, we’re patronizing non-chain, local restaurants (same for takeout/delivery) and take an Uber/Lyft. Doing everything we can to support our local peeps.


I think most restaurants are going to close and there’s nothing we can do to stop it.

I went out to a couple of my favorite places Friday and Saturday and business was maybe 25% of usual. The owners can’t cover their costs if that keeps up, which it seems sure to.

The place I went Friday switched to takeout and delivery-only the next day, but they own the building. I doubt that will pencil out for most restaurants unless the landlords offer to reduce the rent.

My friends in the industry are lucky that they work in Oakland, where the minimum wage is $14.14, and in California, where tip credits are illegal and tips are counted as wages when calculating unemployment insurance payments.

Fear and panic are on a steeper exponential than the virus itself, IMO. If only there were a way to flatten that curve.

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Consolidating new posts on this topic into a single thread was a good idea, ipse. TY. You might want to provide reverse links to the older threads, though, to see where those earlier discussions came from.

Hmmm…wait a minute. Looks like you didn’t redirect the LA thread as you did with the other two.

We’re in our 70s so part of ‘that’ group. But we have no fear/panic. Well, yes, fear for the country and planet. And we’re changing our actions mostly based on protecting the country. We’re relatively healthy and it will happen or not. But socially distancing will protect us also.


I also have no personal fear, nor any panic. And I’m also in “that” group. But I see fear and panic all around, from grocery stores to local and state governments.

I’m not going to stop patronizing restaurants, especially since they’ll be only 1/3 full following the governor’s decree. Actually, they’d be only 1/3 full even without the decree, which only adds to the fear and panic.

They’ll have to arrest and drag me out of my local pho house kicking and screaming. I’m in very good health, thank you very much, gov.

“The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.”


I can see a clandestine street food culture. Coming soon .