How to Support the Detroit Food Industry in Light of the Pandemic
Photo courtesy of the Independent Restaurant Coalition
ANDYou saw the news, you read the headlines. The country’s food industry, like many other industries, is in turmoil. Due to recent federal mandates to suspend all non-essential businesses in order to contain the coronavirus, restaurants are limiting services to execution and delivery only. Some are even completely closed. Unlimited.
Our team of professional eaters are saddened that the Detroit food industry is going through such trouble. So many of our best moments are about food – many even in local restaurants. And yet, food service workers, some of the most vulnerable workers in America, are unemployed.
As you get used to becoming more self-sufficient in the kitchen, testing new recipes and mastering old ones, it’s time to start thinking about how to successfully lead our local bars and restaurants into better times. The Detroit food industry is facing a long, tough recovery, but your help could make all the difference. Here’s how you can get involved.
Many people in the food industry rely on tips to supplement their daily wages. Restaurants like Sister Pie have organized crowdfunding campaigns to provide significant support to their employees. (The bakery is less than $ 2,000 away from its $ 12,000 goal – an accomplishment that, with your help, was accomplished in just two days.) Contact your choice of restaurants to see how You can compensate employees who are unemployed during the crisis.
For restaurants that have closed their kitchens completely – and those who haven’t – considering assisting in unconventional ways. Buy merchandise such as t-shirts, mugs, hats, or tote bags. All income helps in these times. Visit your favorite restaurant websites or give them a call to find out how to make a purchase. If loot isn’t on the menu, buy a gift card for friends, family, or even yourself. Date nights and special occasions are on the horizon.
With the Executive Order from Stay Home, Stay Safe this week, many restaurants only offer pick-up and delivery services. More and more establishments have partnered with grocery delivery services like Doordash, Grubhub, Seamless and Uber Eats to deliver meals straight to customers’ doors. (Black and Mobile is another company that serves several black-owned food companies in the Detroit area.) Others handle their own deliveries. Help restaurants keep operating in this new infrastructure by ordering your favorite dishes for your family. Some establishments also offer household items. Take Folk and Nink, for example. A newly established market started by the restaurant owners is filled with dry goods and paper products – even toilet paper! – available daily.
Be a lawyer
If you’ve seen the chef’s call to action that many restaurateurs shared on social media, you can join in too. Whether you are a trained chef, head chef, or no chef at all, the CTA is designed to encourage government officials to do their part in helping the millions of food industry workers across the country affected by the sudden restaurant closings. Share the post with #toosmalltofail in your caption, call your representative and senators, or write a letter to officials calling for small and independent businesses to be included in the stimulus plan. Restaurants like Lady of the House have shared a template for your convenience. Visit saverestaurants.co for more information on how to get involved.