Updated: Jan 16, 2021
Many people want to help their local businesses. A healthy downtown means more services offered to people, lower unemployment, tax revenue for the city, and generally a sense of happiness. Some of the businesses having difficulties are caused by the current situation. Some of the restaurant owners, Chef, or workers, are probably your friends.
One day, it could be you who need help, and your good karma today will pay off in the future. Also, some restaurants are serving very healthy food, which is better to your diet than alternatives such as Safeway. And it helps local farmers too if you order food from a restaurant like ours, as fresh ingredients are sourced daily from them.
Here, I explore some no-cost options available to help your favorite restaurants.
Share the restaurant website or menu with your friends, or the newsletters you receive as a subscriber. Post on Facebook about your recent dining experience at your favorite place. Share pictures of what you ate.
Post a review on Yelp, Google or other restaurant review websites.
Order food for 2-3 days. For instance, you can have dinner in an heated outdoor dining tent, and also order To Go at the same time, for tomorrow. It will save you a trip to the grocery store, or having to cook yourself for one extra day. Steaks and pasta are examples of dishes that you can keep in the refrigerator for a few days, and they still do well when eating them later.
Buy your favorite wine in places that offer it. In our restaurant, we have a small retail shop selling wine and home-made preparations. Profit margins on wines are higher for restaurants.
Inquire about catering and other services you might not be aware of, such as gift cards, membership, wine club, free newsletter subscription, etc.
Order family meals, serving two or four people. This means your whole family is eating the same dish, but it is usually cost-effective both to you and the restaurant, and also reduces wasted food.
Mention your favorite place on social networks. Here in Skagit county, we created a Facebook group called Skagit Restaurants. You can join and become an active member.
Use home delivery when available. It is cheaper both for you and the restaurant, compared to Doordash, and it also helps keep staff on payroll.
Contact your restaurant via email or their Facebook page, to make recommendations for improvements or suggest ideas for the menu. If enough people are asking for a specific dish, the Chef would be happy to add it to the menu, if she knows she is capable of preparing it right.
About the author: Vincent Granville is a well-traveled foodie originally from Belgium. He co-founded the new Paris Restaurant in Anacortes. Vincent is also an author and well-known data scientist who worked with Microsoft, eBay, Wells Fargo, Visa, NBC, and recently sold his own media business to a publicly traded company. Vincent is a former post-doc from Cambridge University, and former VC-funded executive.