#SupportLocal Movement Kept Restaurants Afloat

Two kitchen workers making pizzas with a big smile on their face
Artwork by Anthony Faust
Two kitchen workers making pizzas with a big smile on their face

At the beginning of the pandemic, as restaurants were forced to close their doors or switch to takeout and delivery only, people across the country began to show their support for their favorite local spots in a variety of ways. The idea was that big chain restaurants probably had the capital in their organization to weather a short-term downturn in sales, but with razor-thin profits, most locally owned restaurants weren’t likely to make it through without some additional support.

One of the most obvious ways people supported their local restaurants was by ordering takeout or delivery. With dine-in service no longer an option, many people turned to these options to enjoy the delicious food from their favorite spots while also helping to keep these businesses afloat. From sharing menus and delivery options on social media to leaving generous tips for the hardworking staff, people found creative ways to show their support. This whole idea was lauded online and the hashtag #SupportLocal swept across the country.

But the #SuppprtLocal movement wasn't just about the food. It was also about the sense of community that these businesses provide. If the choice is between supporting Pizza Hut or the local pizza place, people would pick the local business. Many people made a point of leaving positive reviews on social media or on review sites like TripAdvisor, Google, and Yelp, helping to spread the word about their favorite spots and encouraging others to give them a try.

In addition to ordering takeout and leaving reviews, there were many other ways that people supported their local restaurants. Some restaurants encouraged their customers to purchase gift cards to use later, providing a much-needed source of income for these businesses when they needed it the most. Some restaurants updated their menus to have options such as “Buy the kitchen staff a round” or added merchandise such as stickers or clothing to boost the ticket total. Others made donations to fundraisers or contributed to crowdfunding campaigns set up to help keep local restaurants afloat.

One of the most heartwarming aspects of the #SupportLocal movement was the way that people came together to show their support. From neighborhood groups organizing mass takeout orders to communities coming together to support beloved local spots, it was truly a time of solidarity and generosity.

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About the Author

My life as a husband and father transformed during the COVID-19 pandemic. Sent home from work in March 2020, I've yet to return to the office. Adapting to the new pandemic world proved challenging for us all.

However, we managed to find silver linings. Drive-by birthdays brought joy to my kids' friends. I'll never forget stumbling upon a heartfelt hand-painted rock during my jog, reminding us that we're all in this together. Regular Zoom happy hours with close friends created cherished memories.

While quality time with my family was a blessing, we also faced hurdles. Assisting my youngest daughter with frustrating math homework on a poorly designed iPad app tested our patience. Both girls struggled with wearing masks during sports and school.

Sadly, witnessing COVID-19 being politicized and witnessing the closure of small businesses while the wealthy thrived was disheartening.

I wrote this book to document our experiences, learning from them and striving for better decisions in the future. Join me on this rewarding journey of resilience and growth.

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