How can you support your favorite local restaurant?

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When you don’t want to cook dinner or crave a certain menu item, your favorite local restaurant always takes care of you and you want to reciprocate. The COVID-19 pandemic has hit the restaurant industry hard, and while things are looking up, staying afloat is still difficult for many restaurants.

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Total restaurant and foodservice sales are expected to reach $898 billion in 2022, which would ultimately surpass the $864 billion made in 2019, according to the National Restaurant Association. However, nine in 10 restaurateurs say the cost of food is eating away at their profits more than before the pandemic.

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Therefore, it is always very important to support local restaurants and give them as much support as possible. Here are seven different ways to show your support.

Be social

“The best way to support your local restaurants is to share reviews and photos on social media when you dine,” said Sylvia Fountaine, professional chef and CEO of Feasting at Home, which started as a restaurant business but has grown. into a Blog. “Using location hashtags and trending hashtags on platforms like Instagram and TikTok can help local restaurants show up in searches by local diners.”

However, she said it was not necessary to eat out to support him on social media.

“Even if you can’t dine at a restaurant for some reason, you can share a restaurant’s social media posts to your own IG or TikTok stories,” said Fountaine, who also owned the Mizuna restaurant in Spokane. , Washington. “It’s free and gives a small vote of support to local chefs and restaurateurs.”

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Write reviews online

When you have a positive experience at a local restaurant, use Google or Yelp reviews to tell others about it, said Téa Ivanovic, co-founder and COO of Immigrant Food, known for its food concepts that celebrate immigrants in Washington, DC.

“Give your server or manager a special shout out if you enjoyed your experience,” she said. “It’s a simple and free way to support a restaurant that we, as a restaurant community, really appreciate.”

eat there

Chances are you have a few favorite local restaurants that you haven’t visited recently. Therefore, Jeff Neely, owner of Pixie in Mt. Pleasant, Michigan, encouraged you to show your support by dining at these restaurants or ordering takeout.

“When you’re there, be patient,” he said. “Many establishments are facing staff shortages, so service may take a little longer than usual.”

Don’t order takeout through third-party apps

There’s no shortage of food delivery apps these days, but Neely said using them to order from your favorite restaurants isn’t as useful as you might think.

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“When you’re craving your favorite local restaurant, avoid placing your order through third-party delivery apps, like DoorDash, UberEats, etc.,” he said. “What a lot of people don’t know is that these third-party apps make up a significant portion of a restaurant’s sales, which sometimes leads to restaurants losing money on these orders.”

Offer gift cards

The next time you need to give someone a gift, give them your favorite local restaurant. No, you don’t have to worry about finding a day that suits everyone, getting a reservation and chatting. Just give them a gift card.

It’s an easy way to help the restaurant attract customers, and there’s a good chance the recipient will spend even more. Specifically, 80% of consumers who have a gourmet, fast-casual or drugstore gift card spend more than the value of their card, according to Fiserv.

Eat out during the week

If you’re like a lot of people, you tend to dine out on Friday or Saturday nights, or both. That’s great, but consider adding Monday or Tuesday nights to your restaurant’s rotation, as these are typically the slowest days of the week in the industry.

Supporting a local restaurant is a great excuse to relax a bit on a weeknight when you’re usually rushing to have dinner on the table after work. Sneaking a small gourmet meal into your week can help you weather the post-weekend blues while boosting revenue at your favorite restaurant.

Buy non-food items

Many restaurants don’t just sell food. In addition to menu items, you can also purchase t-shirts, hats, coffee mugs, and other non-edible novelties.

Adding one of these items to your order is a great way to help them earn a little extra profit. Additionally, if you wear the item, display it in your home, or give it as a gift, you are also helping to publicize the business.

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About the Author

Jennifer Taylor is a West Coast-based freelance writer with over a decade of experience writing about anything and everything. Since earning her MBA, personal finance has been her favorite subject, as she is passionate about writing stories that educate, inform and empower. Specifically, she specializes in budgeting, debt repayment, savings and retirement.

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