With COVID-19 causing restaurants to close dine-in options to customers, restaurants are expecting nationwide losses as high as $225 billion and job losses that account for over half of U.S. jobs lost in March.
In response, the Great American Takeout movement is encouraging Americans to support local restaurants by ordering takeout. Florida Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried and Florida’s restaurateurs and retailers are encouraging Floridians to join the effort and support #TheGreatAmericanTakeout.
The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services is sharing lists from local media across Florida of restaurants open for business offering takeout, curbside service, and delivery.
“During this COVID-19 pandemic, many of Florida’s local restaurants are experiencing a significant loss of business, which greatly impacts service workers and our state’s agriculture industry. So now more than ever, we need Floridians to support our restaurants, our food service employees, and our local growers,” said Fried at the end of last week. “The Great American Takeout is a perfect opportunity to do our part as consumers to help, so I’m encouraging Floridians to show your support, enjoy your favorite local restaurant serving fresh Florida-grown food, and #KeepCalmAndTakeOut.”
“COVID-19 has severely impacted over 41,000 eating and drinking establishments across Florida that support more than 825,000 jobs,” said Carol Dover, the president and CEO of the Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association. “Our restaurants are struggling and need our help. The ongoing Great American Takeout campaign is an easy way for Floridians to show support for their local restaurants during this challenging time. We encourage everyone who can to participate by ordering takeout so that Florida’s restaurant workers, who live to create meaningful experiences for their guests, will be able to welcome guests again as soon as it is safe to do so.”
“During these difficult times, the best and most important thing we can do is support one another,” said Scott Shalley, the president and CEO of the Florida Retail Federation. “Show your support for your friends and neighbors in the Florida retail and restaurant industries by participating in the Great American Takeout. It’s a win-win. You’ll get a great dinner to feed your family, and the Florida business will be thrilled to have your support.”