On Monday, March 16, Governor Andrew Cuomo announced additional restrictions on public gatherings as a response to concerns over the Coronavirus pandemic – which include New York restaurants and bars will only be able to offer take-out or delivery services.
This precaution will greatly impact the industry, and with many being small businesses, it puts them in serious risk of closing their doors as a result of this crisis. For those wondering how to show their support for local eateries, restaurant industry professionals have banded together to launch an industry-wide campaign called Dining Bonds, which will work like savings bonds. Patrons can purchase a “bond” at a value rate that can be redeemed for full face value at a future date.
“We’re already seeing a number of restaurants close and are very concerned about the future of the industry,” said Helen Patrikis of HP-PR, a co-founder of the Dining Bonds initiative. “We hope that these dining bonds help by bringing in much needed revenue to these restaurants now. No one wants to see their favorite restaurant close its doors, and this is a simple way for the public to show much needed support.”
The initiative is open to restaurants across the country. For “bonds” purchased, the suggested savings is 25 percent. So, for example, a $100 bond can be purchased for $75 and would be redeemed for full value on or after the redemption date (expiration and other details are at the discretion of the participating restaurant).
“This is a very challenging time, and we’re experiencing something we have never had to deal with before,” said Jennifer Petrocelli, executive director of The Preston House & Hotel in Riverhead, a participating restaurant. “We want to remain optimistic, so this initiative shows solidarity within our restaurant community and hopefully reassures our guests that if they aren’t able to visit us at this point in time, we’ll be here for them when things settle down.”
The Dining Bonds’ website, supportrestaurants.org, allows diners to search for and connect with participating eateries. Restaurants interested in joining the initiative may also do so online.
“This is a tremendous opportunity for the community to show their love and support for the hospitality industry and to ensure the future of their favorite restaurants, not to mention the many people who may be forced out of work,” Steven Hall, president of Hall PR and a co-founder of the campaign, added. “Restaurants are a vital part of life; they are places of celebrations and romance, and have seen their guests through many highs and lows. We hope people will remember that now that their favorite eateries need their help. We’re encouraging everyone to put these bonds to work and save restaurants!”
The recently launched initiative already has dozens of restaurants participating, and many more are expected to sign on.
Those interested in learning more can visit supportrestaurants.org.