In 2020, there were more than a million restaurants in the United States. That’s a huge industry, employing millions of Americans. And as an industry with some of the greatest upward mobility (9 out of 10 restauranteurs started out in entry-level positions), those restaurants can provide major opportunities to its workers.
Yet many of these businesses, and local restaurants, in particular, can find themselves struggling to make ends meet. If you’d like to support local businesses, and maybe get some good eating while you’re at it, check out these ways that you can help out your favorite local spots.
1. Make It a Take-Out Night
The simplest way to support any business is to do business with them. But as of this writing, many of us are understandably wary of spending time in indoor restaurants.
The easiest way around this is to just make your usual order to-go. So instead of dressing up and dining out next time, curl up on the couch with an order from your favorite spot.
2. Rock Some Merchandise
As much as you might love a restaurant, you may only want to do take-out so many nights in a row. But that doesn’t mean that you can’t still support a local restaurant.
Many of them sell merchandise to let you show everyone how much of a fan you are of your friendly neighborhood eatery.
Boo’s Philly Cheesesteaks is a great example. Between hats, bandanas, and shirts, you can see here some of the options that your favorite restaurant might have on offer. Not only is it a great way for restaurants to boost their bottom line, but you’re also helping them advertise.
3. Buy Gift Cards
Gift cards are another great way to support local eateries even when you’re trying to cook from home more.
Whether for a friend, a loved one, or yourself, it’s never a bad time to pick up gift cards for local restaurants. They’ll appreciate the business, and you’ll be giving someone the gift of a delicious dinner.
4. Promote Them on Social Media
The restaurant business runs on thin margins. Especially independent ones. That means that there’s often little, if anything, left in the budget for advertising.
So a lot of local restaurants rely on word of mouth for promotion. Reviews, posts, and especially pictures of an especially attractive meal, are all great ways to get the word out about your favorite unsung spot.
5. Tip Your Waitstaff!
It’s not just restaurants themselves that are struggling. Servers, hosts, bartenders, and the like make most of their earnings from tips. And when the business is lean, so is their income.
So whether you’re dining in or taking away, it’s always important to consider the staff preparing your food and making sure that the process is safe and sanitary.
Eat, Drink, and Be Merry at Local Restaurants
Your favorite local restaurants aren’t just a place for you to enjoy a meal and a drink. They’re a part of your community. Their employees are your friends and neighbors.
And as a part of a community, it falls to all of us to help each other out in our times of need. So dine and drink with the knowledge that you’re not just treating yourself, but those around you as well.
And as always, for all the most-current dining and drinking news and views, be sure to keep up with the latest from our blog.