Tuesday is the The Great American Takeout, an initiative to get Americans to order takeout to support the struggling restaurant industry as the fallout from the coronavirus continues.
Many dining establishments are only open for takeout or delivery across the country as many locales are under mandatory shutdowns.
While the idea was launched by a coalition of national restaurant brands including California Pizza Kitchen, Jason’s Deli, and Panera Bread local businesses are hopping on board as well.
“I think it’s awesome. We shared it,” said Glen Weinzimer, co-owner of Bona Italian Pizza on Wilton Drive. “We’ve encouraged people to support any local restaurant in our area. Spread the wealth.”Weinzimer is also encouraging people to buy meals for a couple of days “so you don’t have to keep running out.”
Bona is offering a special Tuesday, a large cheese pizza, fried mozzarella sticks and two liter of soda for 19.99.
Bona, like most restaurants, has taken a big hit. When they first closed their dining room they started with a staff of eight. Today it’s down to four.
“We are trying to keep people on,” he said. But he admitted it’s been a challenge. Weinzimer said he’s brought some people in for special projects like deep cleaning the light fixtures, air vents, and washing down the walls.
“This is stuff we don’t always get to,” he said. The restaurant is ready to reopen as soon as they’re allowed to do so. “All the dishes, platters, etc have been rewashed and ready to go. Everything that was in open air has been sealed.”
Weinzimer said closing the dining room is having a ripple effect on other businesses as well, such as his linen company which they no longer need to use. He’s encouraged though that many people still seem to be in “good spirits.”
“People are really kind and respectful,” he said. “Customers are tipping generously, as if they were dining in. They’re tipping 30 percent, if not better in most cases.”
Weinzimer decided that Bona will take a portion of the tips each day and split them among the whole staff, even the ones not working in order to funnel some money to employees who have also taken a financial hit during this crisis.
Looking for a restaurant? Click here to check out who’s open for takeout and delivery.