BOSTON (CBS) – There’s a new movement to keep local restaurants in business during the coronavirus pandemic and you can help, one order at a time.
The Massachusetts Restaurant Association has put together a video series “documenting what restaurants are doing to adapt, innovate, and give back to their communities” at restaurantlove.org.
They say ordering takeout “once a week can make the difference” for restaurants and cafes struggling to stay in business while everyone stays home.
“I think a lot of small businesses are scared,” Daniella Mammola, owner of The North Shore Hospitality Group, told WBZ-TV.
“I don’t think every restaurant is going to survive this,” said Patrick Campbell. He’s a chef and the owner of the Stones Common House and Kitchen in Stoneham. Campbell told WBZ the last two months have been filled with the highest of highs and the lowest of lows.
“Easter Sunday was by far the busiest day that we’ve ever had in the restaurant since we’ve opened and we did it in 3 hours. That being said, I mean we’ve had days where we’ve opened and it hasn’t been even worth the money to put the lights and the stove on,” he explained.
Peabody’s Pellana Prime Steakhouse, Alto Forno restaurant and Daniella’s Cafe and Market in Danvers all pride themselves on operating with strong family values, ties they had to abruptly cut because of the shutdown.
“We were told on a Sunday that we had to close on a Tuesday. We had to furlough over a hundred people between the three restaurants, you know, we didn’t get to say goodbye or hug them or explain what was going on,” Mammola said.
As these restaurants go from the ultimate dine in experience, to takeout and delivery only, MassPay, a payroll and human resources services company in Beverly, is pivoting their focus too.
“We have about 150 restaurant clients in the greater Boston area and we saw that they were really in survival mode and we felt like we could help,” CEO Jason Maxwell explained.
By highlighting local restaurants at restaurantlove.org and using #StayInTakeOut on social media, the goal is to change the fate of some of these small businesses one order at a time.
“The regularity of people coming in and spending money is really the only thing that is going to keep the doors open,” Campbell said.
Hopefully proving that together, we can come back stronger.
“If there is any industry that can come together and overcome this, it’s us,” Mammola added.
Because it’s unclear what the new normal will look like for restaurants, take out operations will likely remain a life line.
If you’d like to help, call in your next meal.