Ways to Help Restaurants & Hospitality During COVID-19 Crisis

Now that restaurants are forced to close and only offer takeout or delivery due to closures from the COVID-19 crisis, many businesses will experience severe economic distress even if temporarily closed. Restaurant workers such as servers, cooks, dishwashers, and other hospitality staff will be the ones most impacted. There are ways we can help restaurants and hospitality-based businesses and their workers in Philadelphia. I will try to keep an updated list here, so if you know of any organizations offering assistance or support, let me know!

All Philadelphia restaurants have been told to close until the end of March. #StayTheFuckHome and do the following below:

Support Service Industry Aid PHL! Sign this petition to demand aid from the city of Philadelphia. Immediate financial assistance is needed right now. Let’s support this initiative for the local government to step up during this difficult time.

Save Philly Restaurants Petition. Sign this petition to Philadelphia and Pennsylvania elected officials by the Pennsylvania Restaurant & Lodging Association to save restaurants and help food service workers from economic devastation.

Pick up or delivery. If you’re comfortable, take advantage of curbside pickup for touch-free delivery for any restaurant that is currently operating as a take-out or delivery business right now.

Here is a running list of restaurants that are closed or offering takeout and delivery.

✅ Here is another list by Dining at a Distance™.

Takeout COVID – helps restaurants sell their wine, beer, and food. There are over 500+ restaurants listed in Philadelphia. Restaurants can submit their own listings for free.

– Purchase Gift Cards. Buy gift cards now! Whether a restaurant is open or not, do this. When restaurants re-open, don’t use those gift cards until later in the year. They are going to need lots of cash flow as soon as they re-open. Consider it a future gift to yourself or another! Consider Rally for Restaurants by Toast — buy a gift card to your favorite restaurant, use hashtag #RallyforRestaurants and they’ll give $1 to organizations supporting the community!

Buy Recipes from Chefs & Restaurants. Local startup just launched to help restaurant chefs in their time of need by giving them a platform to upload video and written recipes and sell them to foodies and home cooks. This is a great easy way to help chefs and restaurants. Chefs and recipes are coming very soon – get in touch with them if you want to participate.

Feed Others Out of Work. A lot of restaurant workers will be out of work for a while, let’s make sure they are fed. Services like Home Appetit allow you to “pay it forward” and gift meals to others. They are providing touchless delivery. Kalaya is offering free family meals to people in the restaurant industry in need.

Consider donating to a Virtual Tip Jar. A few people have set up virtual tip jars to help service industry workers.

✅ Eater Philly has rounded up some restaurants that are using Venmo and GoFundMe to raise funds for their staff.

✅ The magnificent Marie DiFeliciantonio of Bondfire Media started the Philly Restaurant Relief site to keep a running list of ways to help support restaurants and industry workers.

Keep later plans! If you have an event or reservation past April, don’t cancel yet. Give it time; we don’t know what will happen after next month. This is a constantly changing situation. But once we get past this time, restaurants and catering companies will need your business – if you have plans to do business with companies past April, keep those plans right now and give them full deposits or even pay half upfront.

Consider purchasing merchandise. Some restaurants sell merchandise at their restaurants or online. Ask them if there is something else they can buy should the restaurants need to temporarily close. Example: Take a look at Fox & Sons Fancy Corn Dogs ecommerce shop.

Local Organizations Helping Restaurants & Hospitality Workers Now!

University City District Gift Card Matching – The University City District pledges to match any restaurant gift card purchases up to $250. The gift cards they purchase from the restaurants will be used in future UCD giveaways and promotions. 

National Organizations Helping Restaurants & Hospitality Workers Now!

Donate to the RWCF COVID-19 Emergency Relief Fund – this will help provide funds to restaurants and workers that are impacted by the COVID-19 crisis.

Donate to the USBG National Charity Foundation. United States Beverage Guild is raising funds for bartenders affected by COVID-19. The funds raised for this COVID-19 Relief Campaign will bolster their Bartender Emergency Assistance Program.

Coronavirus Resource List

Pennsylvania Restaurant & Lodging Association

National Restaurant Association

NJ Department of Labor COVID-19 Benefits

Tell Congress to Support Restaurants and their Employees

Help keep this list updated, email:

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