Practicing Social Distancing but Thinking of Ways you Can Help Save Local Restaurants?

          All over the world Covid-19 aka Coronavirus has managed to shut-down the restaurant industry from a moderate to full scale. In Asia; China, Hong Kong, Singapore, Philippines, Malaysia, Indonesia have all been greatly impacted. From 22nd of March 2020, Bangkok went into a 22 day lock-down. 

          The Thai Government decreed the closing of malls and shopping centres, and forbid restaurants from in-house dining trade, forcing many of them to resort to a takeaway and/or delivery format. A great number of these restaurants, mostly middle to fine dining restaurants have never provided the service before, a segment to which they previously never set-up, nor have the experienced and therefore grossly unprepared  

          From street food trade to mall restaurants and upper scale venues, everyone is absolutely suffering. Who are we to judge what scale of restaurant should recieve more attention, large corporations are also feeding families. Currently jobs have been cut salaries reduced or are close to cutting the line. Many of your local restaurateurs may have already shut shop all together. 

          As foodies we must ask ourselves, “what can we do to help”? Bangkok Foodies compiled a list of 11 ways to which foodies may relieve just some the pressure for these flailing businesses. There are ways which may require some financial contribution or payment by simple acts of kindness. Whatever position you are in to contribute, there will be something on this list to you can achieve. Together we can survive. #EatitForward

1.Order Takeaway or Delivery. 

          Some may say this is the “no-brainer” choice but in fact this is the best choice in terms of immediate financial relief. Hundreds of new restaurants, even upper-scale fine dining restaurants have been forced to adapt and shift to takeaway and delivery mode in order to survive. Staying in lock-down doesn’t mean you have to go without indulging in your deep foodies desires.

 

 
 
 
 
 
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2.Try New Things. 

          Lets face it, we are creatures of habit and rarely do we stray from our favourites when it comes to delivery, but at this stage there are now – quite literally – thousands of restaurants  who have lost their business trade overnight with no real prospect of when or if they may recover  

          In saying this, do support your beloved restaurant but step outside of your foodies comfort zone and try new things. Who knows, you may likely discover some incredible finds and be kicking yourself for not being more adventurous earlier. Most of all, you have just made one restaurant owner/staff extremely happy. The sound “New Order”! Is the best sound in the world for the f&b peeps right now. 

 

 
 
 
 
 
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 3.Buy Dining Vouchers.

          This may take a little time to put in place for many restaurants, but look out for dining from vendors in your local area, and if the restaurants you most wish to support don’t have them in place, request it! Trust us, nobody will say ‘no’ to a customer willing to pay, especially since the restaurant could make great use of the cash now, and shower you with their appreciation later.

 

 
 
 
 
 
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4.Finally Post that Review You’ve Always Been Thinking of Doing.

          Remember that awesome meal you had and you thought to yourself, ‘I really need to write a great review’ or ‘people should know how great the chef, food, and staff are here’! Then basically never put the keyboard to screen? Guilty! It may seem fruitless to write a review at this point, but remember Google loves good content, and restaurants love good Google about them. It’s the internet, it will be there long after Coronavirus.

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5.Play #EatitForward !

          An initiative by Bangkok  Foodies / Foodies Official Asia. We were racking our brains on how we could launch a campaign to help gain exposure for local restaurants providing takeaway or delivery.  The idea struck after a ping-pong effect, ordering between industry friends. Someone ordered a burger from a friend and made a post, that friend then ordered a cheese and wine in return and made a post, the post was seen by other individuals who ordered and posted and so on and so on. “Boom”! #EatitForward was born  

          What’s so great about this initiative is that it’s so easy for everyone to participate, you can play as many times as you like, and it’s not limited to just Thailand but any country that has been affected by this pandemic. The #EatitForward campaign has already reached Vietnam and is set to spread it’s good vibes all over Asia. Just follow the easy instructions below to ensure the chain reaction begins. The idea is to give as much sales and kudos to as many restaurants out there as possible.

6.Hire Restaurant Catering or Private Chef Service. 

          One way to get the restaurant experience at home is to actually hire the chef to cook in your home, but with set regulations. Such as, the chef must wear a mask at all times and wash hand/sanitise hands before placing plates on the table. That the chef and/or assistant do a complete scrub down of kitchen surfaces before and after leaving. In small groups/family at home type situations a restaurant may provide catering, where they swoop in, prepare foods and lay out the spread on the kitchen table before the family enters the dining room to eat. This way you could completely avoid meeting anyone from outside but still have a restaurant quality experience at home.

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7.Sign Petitions, Get Involved, Lobby the Governments. 

          If you see petitions or requests for the Government to provide additional aid or support to alleviate Covid-19 damage, do get involved. Although the act of serving customers at restaurants have ceased, the rent/mortgages, bills and salaries continue. Those in power are in the position to enforce subsidies, alleviate monthly expenditures, support emergency employment benefits, waive taxes or pause payment on amenities. They can even enforce banks to hold on loan repayments or encourage leasers to act with fairness during this make-or-break period. A little activism in some of us, can make a difference to us all. 

 

 
 
 
 
 
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𝐂𝐨𝐫𝐨𝐧𝐚𝐯𝐢𝐫𝐮𝐬 𝐈𝐧𝐢𝐭𝐢𝐚𝐭𝐢𝐯𝐞: Lobbying governments. 𝐖𝐡𝐨’𝐬 𝐛𝐞𝐡𝐢𝐧𝐝 𝐢𝐭: Will Guidara, Alice Waters, Michael Sager and more. Restaurateurs and bartenders around the world are petitioning their governments to provide specific support to the hospitality industry, with several demands being made and updates happening daily. In the UK, some will see relief from business rates and a nationwide loan package, but owners are asking for additional measures such as employee rescue plans to save jobs and moratoriums to prevent them from losing their properties. In the US, a series of restaurateurs including Will Guidara and Alice Waters have signed a petition requesting help such as emergency employment benefits and the waiving of payroll tax. Eater is encouraging readers to lobby their local government representatives and has provided a script to press for a relief programme. 𝐇𝐨𝐰 𝐭𝐨 𝐡𝐞𝐥𝐩: Follow your local chefs and restaurants to find links to relevant petitions. #Worlds50Best #Asias50Best #LatAm50Best #Hospitality #Community @wguidara @alicelouisewaters @michael___sager

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8.Stay Calm / Send Messages of Support. 

          Seems preachy to tell people to stay calm but the reality is, losing our sh*it is not going to improve anything. Keeping a level-head and practising precautions is the best way to manage this situation. The more panic, the more irrational and extreme behaviours are created. The industry is already bleeding potential revenue profusely, staying calm and positive keeps morale up but most of all keeps the public sensible. What happens when this all eventually blows over? The economy will need to recover, there’s no magic wand that will make everything go back to normal, so let’s stay strong and sane for the sake of everyone  

          Here’s another costless tip…Dropping a little message on the Facebook or Instagram page or email with words of support to a restaurant is a small and free act one can do but carries a world of worth. Although there may be a complete stranger on the other side receiving that note, know that it’s someone whose heart is likely breaking right now and you may have just made their day…*sniff* <3

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9.Donate Kitchen Supplies; Gloves, masks, sanitiser gels, cleaning equipment. Every bit helps. Yes, even toilet paper! 

          When we say every bit helps, we mean every little bit helps. If you’re doing your supermarket shopping or at home looking through your cupboards and find you’ve got more than enough sanitary cleaning and kitchen supplies, why not send a care pack to the restaurants who are still servicing takeaway and delivery? The less cost and need to venture out to buy these, particularly hard-to-get supplies, the greater relief you are providing. 

 

 10.Eat Local. 

          If the little old man or lady down the road is still operating their ‘mom and pop’ shop house or street food cart, arrange your local motorcycle delivery guy to collect or take a short walk in your local area. If cooked or fresh food is a concern, buy some packaged snacks or cans of tuna. You’ll be sure to put a smile on their faces, just remember to keep a safe distance, wear a mask and wash your hands before and after purchase if going in-person.

 

 
 
 
 
 
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11.Pay the price 

          We may be used to the friendly discount, odd gift or even freebie from friends or places we frequent, but this is not the time to expect or ask. Pay the price, the full price. Imagine if the shoe were on the other foot, how much every baht, dong, euro and dollar add up!  

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