Seafood restaurants start “National Takeout Day” to boost sales during pandemic

A coalition of restaurants across the United States is urging consumers to sustain the foodservice industry during the COVID-19 pandemic by taking part in “The Great American Takeout” on Tuesday, 24 March.

Separately, many seafood restaurants have also taken to social media with innovative campaigns and efforts designed to encourage Americans to order take-bout or delivery from them.

Many states have ordered restaurants to close their dining rooms, but they are allowed to offer takeout and delivery options. Early economic forecasts reveal the industry will sustain at least a USD 225 billion (EUR 211 billion) loss and be forced to eliminate between five million and seven million jobs over the next three months, the National Restaurant Association said in a press release.

Restaurants offering only take-out and delivery are struggling to survive as well due to significantly reduced sales volume. To that end, The Great American Takeout urges Americans to order at least one delivery or pick-up meal on 24 March – and to vvcontinue ordering from restaurants throughout the crisis.

The coalition of restaurants that organized the campaign – a group that includes Rubio’s Coastal Grill, Panera Bread, Jason’s Deli, and Chevy’s Fresh Mex – cites data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Food and Drug Administration, noting that there is “little evidence that COVID-19 can be transmitted through food or packaging,” the group said in a press release.

“This is no longer about the survival of individual restaurants,” Habit Burger Grill CEO Russ Bendel said. “It’s about the future of our industry. And time has run out. Together, we must act to support each other and our communities in unprecedented ways.”

Meanwhile, Orlando, Florida-based Kona Poke, which operates two restaurants, is re-assuring customers by sharing its “contact-free food prep” guarantee and a unique gift card offer. When customers buy a USD 25.00 (EUR 23.00) gift card, they can receive a USD 10.00 (EUR 9.28) card themselves or donate USD 10.00 to local hunger relief organization Second Harvest Food Bank.

Kona’s new “contact-free food prep” guarantee ensures that each employee is screened with a thermometer before their shift and then uses a separate set of plastic gloves for each order. The order is packed in “tamper-resistant” packaging and delivered to each customer’s car.

Darden-owned Bahama Breeze is offering 15 percent off takeout orders, and free delivery, similar to many other restaurant chains.

Many restaurant chains have also switched to offering family meal deals for takeout and delivery. For example, Firebirds Woodfired Grill is offering meals for four, including a grilled salmon entrée, for USD 29.95 each (EUR 27.82).


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