COVID-19 has cast a shadow over London and as the restaurant scene is an industry that makes up so much of the city’s vibrance, it is no surprise that its struggle is what makes London’s ghost-town appearance even more so. Many are staying as positive as they can, remaining as troopers and keeping themselves afloat through delivery service. Sadly many have had to close their doors temporarily but here is how you can support your favourite restaurants that remain open – all from the safety of your own home.
Takeaway meals are the primary way many restaurants are surviving the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. Your support means more than ever and, if you can afford to, it’s such a small and easy way to help them out. I mean you’d be helping a restaurant out so much by eating their delicious food in the comfort of your own home without barely having to move a muscle (contact-free delivery). Could helping someone out get any easier?
Burger & Beyond has their to-die-for (I’m salivating as I type) burgers and Dirty Tots available for delivery; you can even sink your teeth into Absurd Bird’s famous Mac ‘n’ Cheese; Spice Box is making sure Walthamstow residents can still get their fix of plant-powered curries and HIDE is even delivering their fine dining food, meaning you can have a Michelin-starred meal on your sofa. Do it just for the experience, I mean come onnnn. Coal Rooms in Peckham is actually delivering takeaway Sunday Roasts – lockdown life just got a whole lot tastier, in my opinion…
Local Small Businesses
You might be more familiar with Crudo Cevicheria but the eatery has temporarily taken on a new concept in light of COVID-19. How can you support them? It’s all about having faith in the hospitality industry and pledging your loyalty to your favourite restaurant, bar or café. It works by customers buying menu items for friends and colleagues to use later down the line. It’s a small step but given the sudden drop in business, the idea is to create cash flow for small businesses to cover their fixed costs and keep as much going as possible until we’re out of the thick of this. Also, the chances of you heading back to your favourite coffee shop for that flat white or to devour your much-loved burger post-quarantine is quite strong so it’s hardly a mis-management of money. Crudo, Al Dente pasta, Acai Sisters and 40ft Brewery are all on the site and they’re continuing to recruit new independent businesses.
Shop For Your Supplies
Many restaurants sell their own ingredients and pantry goods – so if you’re having a panic about the panic-buyers stockpiling the rice, pasta and eggs, why not try your favourite restaurants or their suppliers? Eateries like Macellaio RC and Albion have pantry-style shops selling the ingredients they use in their food. Bodega Rita’s has launched “Rita’s 4 U” delivering household bits that might be missing from your cupboard. Normally it’s a novelty post-dining activity or for those who are actually culinary-inclined (alas, I’m not one of these people) but now it could be your source of said stockpiled items. Ordering from these shops might be a little pricier than the mainstream supermarkets but the profits go directly to an independent restaurant, rather than Sainsbury’s.
The Estate Dairy (traditionally a trader’s supplier) even offers next day delivery so you can say goodbye to worrying about fighting for that coveted time slot too. Places like HG Walter have you covered when it comes to all cuts of meat – they even have pre-marinated chicken if you’re not feeling like debuting your chef’s hat in full.
Buy gift vouchers
Similar to the idea behind Local Small Businesses but one that probably is being forgotten. Buy your friends, family and yourself a gift card to your favourite restaurant or bar – most don’t have an expiration date and these will help support the restaurant in their time of need and show them they will have guests on the other side of this all. You never know, your gift voucher could be paying for someone’s wages through COVID-19. The Harts Group (who own El Pastor, Barrafina and Quo Vadis), Kricket, Trullo and Four Legs are all offering gift vouchers for future visits. Patty & Bun is even throwing in their famous ‘black card’ with all voucher purchases – leaving you with a pretty sweet 10 per cent off for life.
While sharing photos from previous visits to a restaurant won’t bring them immediate revenue, it will keep them at the forefront of your followers’ minds so when we do eventually come out on the other side, they know exactly what they’re craving and where to head to first. It’s a dark time for the industry and a positive review from any happy customer could be the ray of sunshine they need in this moment. You can also keep engaged with the content they’re posting online; liking, commenting and sharing posts will do more than you think. Take the photo above of Tandis (a Persian restaurant in North London); I’ve had countless comments and messages from friends and followers saying they want to go there; hopefully people order delivery or they’ll remember to visit post-lockdown.