Just because you’re stuck at home doesn’t mean you can’t support Houston businesses during COVID-19. By now you’ve probably received a thousand emails, updates, tweets, and letters from businesses that are struggling from forced and voluntary closures. With dine-in down as much as 75%, local restaurants, shops, and businesses need our support more than ever.
Houston is the most diverse city in the US and local restaurants and shops are the lifeblood of our community and we must do everything we can to get them through this time of uncertainty.
How to support Houston businesses during COVID-19:
- Buy a gift card. It’s like a future present to yourself and a great way to get cash flow to your favorite businesses now so they can pay their rent and employees.
- Call and pick up! With empty dining rooms, restaurants are depending on pickup and delivery orders more than ever. Many restaurants are posting to their social media if they’re started doing curbside pickup. For some customers, pickup has proven to be a great alternative to dining in—with less person-to-person contact. Favor and GrubHub have waived commission fees for a few weeks so restaurants and businesses have bigger cash flows.
- Get delivery. Many apps have implemented contact-free delivery at checkout, you can safely continue to support your favorite local restaurants. For the safety of you and the drivers, drivers will call/text when they arrive and drop off your order on the doorstep, in the lobby or other area designated by you.
- Tip extra. If you have the means, provide an extra tip to help those places that might not be employing their full-time staff right now.
- Support on social media! This is an easy (and free!!) way to keep supporting your favorite restaurants. Like and comment on their posts. Engage with their stories. A word of encouragement via DM. These small actions really do mean the world!
- Share with a friend. Social currency is a valuable form of exchange! If you’re passionate about local business share on of their posts in your story with an encouraging word of support. Tag a friend in the comments that might be interested in learning about this cool spot in town. You never know how big of an impact a small action might have.
- Leave a review. If you love a business, find their page on Facebook or Google Maps and leave a glowing 5-star review of what makes them special.
- Sign a petition for long term support. Getting food orders to-go is great, but the longer restaurants and bars are forced to be closed the more long term damage is possible. Your one-off order is not enough in the long term to support all the people in the hospitality supply chain. Sign the America’s Table petition here.
- Send a letter to your US representative. Check out this template to write a letter to your representative to request tax assistance for businesses that have been forced to close. It take only a few minutes to fill out, and can make a difference in the long run!
- Contribute to a relief fund. Many businesses and organizations have set up gofundme’s for donations. Do your research and make sure they’re legit before you contribute to make sure your money is getting to the people you intend it to.
Click here to get $5 off Grubhub.
Where to go in Houston
- Here’s 50+ places serving curbside and delivery alcohol in Houston
- Here is a list of some of our favorite boutiques in Houston–many of which have switched to online only.
- Check out these Houston fitness studios that are doing online classes
- Check out this list of local restaurants compiled by Visit Houston that are open during COVID-19.
When in doubt, check that restaurant’s or shop’s social media for the best way to order. Many are inventing new systems to take online orders, orders by phone and revamping their shops to be “curbside.”
We’re at the tipping point of what feels like another #HoustonStrong moment to give within your means and support our neighbors. These family restaurants and shops have served us consistently over the years and it is our privilege to step in and serve them now when there is so much at stake. Our hearts go out to everyone who has been impacted by this worldwide crisis.
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“With dine-in down 75%…” I would love to have 25% dining inside or on our patio. I would have guessed dining in is down 100%.
People are still ordering food for curbside or delivery but it’s not nearly what a normal volume would be!