help us help the restaurant community: JOIN THE INFATUATION & ZAGAT IN HELPING THE RESTAURANT INDUSTRY AND THOSE IN NEED DURING THE COVID-19 CRISIS
If you’ve been a reader for a little while, you know how passionate The Infatuation and Zagat are about restaurants and bars, and if you’re reading this right now, it’s probably safe to assume you are too. The establishments we cover everyday aren’t just places where people go to eat and drink - they’re where friends, family, and co-workers share great moments with each other. It’s easy to take these spaces for granted, but right now the service industry is facing an unprecedented battle. Food service workers are being laid off, having their hours and shifts cut, and struggling to see what the future will look like.
In addition to this, the restrictions and closures of other institutions like schools and child care organizations, senior centers, and food programs have also made it particularly difficult for people to get food right now.
On this page, we’ll be highlighting organizations that are doing some amazing work, and letting you know how you can support those in need by making contributions, donating your time, and helping spread awareness.
SUPPORT RESTAURANTS DIRECTLY
There are still a lot of restaurants that are open for delivery and takeout despite having to close their dining rooms, so we’ve decided to make a centralized directory of guides that covers nine U.S. cities and London. Check out The Infatuation’s Ultimate Delivery & Takeout Guide and to find local restaurants giving back to their communities, check out our guide to supporting the restaurant industry and those impacted by coronavirus. For more information on what’s happening in your city, sign up for our city-specific newsletters here.
A lot of establishments that can’t provide service in any form right now are also offering gift certificates (some of them discounted) that you can redeem for meals at a later date, so be sure to contact some of your favorite spots about that too.
SUPPORT THESE ORGANIZATIONS
To donate, volunteer, or learn more, check out the links below. And, make sure you check in periodically for information on other charities and organizations you can help support.
Founded by José Andrés in 2010, World Central Kitchen is a non-profit organization that helps provide meals to individuals in need in the wake of disasters. Their COVID-19-focused relief effort, #ChefsForAmerica, is addressing this crisis with a three-pronged approach: mapping feeding efforts to understand where gaps in aid exist while showing people where they can find assistance for themselves, delivering meals to those in need, and starting community kitchens where families can get access to affordable or free meals.
Recognizing the severe impact of the COVID-19 national disaster on the industry, the James Beard Foundation established the Food and Beverage Industry Relief Fund in late March to help secure swift economic relief for small, independently owned restaurants. After dispensing over $4.7 million to fund recipients, the organization is now shifting its focus to its Open For Good initiative. Through Open For Good, the Foundation is creating new programs to help the industry survive, rebuild, and thrive. Programs include workshops, trainings, expert advice, and best practices and restructuring; continued advocacy efforts to support federal, state, and local legislation; and financial support for restaurants.
GET INVOLVED ON A GOVERNMENTAL LEVEL
The Federal Government is presently working on an assistance package that will provide aid to service industry workers and others in need. That being said, there is likely more work to be done in the months ahead, so we suggest finding your representative here, or your Senators here, and giving them a call through the capital switchboard at 202-224-3121, to let them know this issue is important to you.
You can also show your support for the newly formed Independent Restaurant Coalition, an organization dedicated to saving independent restaurants affected by COVID-19. You can use the hashtags #saverestaurants and #toosmalltofail to amplify the mission over social media.
HEAR FROM PEOPLE ON THE FRONT LINES AND SPREAD AWARENESS WITH ZAGAT STORIES
Zagat’s new site, Zagat Stories, is dedicated to sharing pieces on restaurateurs, chefs, and others in the restaurant world. In recent weeks, Zagat has focused on how the health crisis has impacted the industry, by talking to people like Jacques Pepin, Katie Button, Kwame Onwuachi, JJ Johnson, and more, to hear their thoughts on what’s going on.
Questions & comments?
If you have any questions, comments, or you want to let us know about efforts you’re getting involved with, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.