Put your money where the need is

Hannah Holliday | Cartoonist

With states across the country ordering Americans to shelter-in-place, many people are cooking from home, or using what they have left in their pantries. We are all being urged to stay inside, so choosing to stay home and cook with what we have is typically the best option. When we do choose to go out to eat, however, chains are often seen as the simplest option.

Few restaurants are still allowing customers to sit and dine inside—none in Waco—but many are offering takeout options and deliveries. Since we have the choice of which restaurants to order from, it’s important that we take this time to support local businesses.

The coronavirus doesn’t exclude anyone—even big businesses are affected—yet small, local spots are the ones being heavily impacted. Chains may suffer but will likely survive through the pandemic, yet many small businesses are wondering whether they can stay afloat amid all that is happening. There has never been a better time than now to choose local.

A variety of Waco small businesses, for example, are still offering safe options for its customers. Oh My Juice is doing curbside and delivery pickups, Vitek’s BBQ is offering curbside pickup through online, email and phone ordering, and Stone Hearth Indian Café is doing takeout through call ahead and online delivery systems. These are just a few of the many local businesses still serving the community. Information about each spot’s ordering and pickup systems during this time are usually featured on their social accounts. There is a Facebook group, Waco Area: Take out, Delivery, and Service Options for local restaurants to inform the community on what they’re doing during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Another way to support local spots during this time is to purchase their merchandise or gift cards as gifts for friends. Spots like Common Grounds have been offering gift card deals, and a variety of spots are still delivering items like t-shirts or mugs. Purchasing items like this is another solid way to benefit your favorite local spots during a time that can be tough on business.

Finally, it’s also important to be mindful of the places we choose to support, whether that be a food-based company or not. Each company has their own policy of how they are treating and supporting their employees during this time of uncertainty. Large chain business policies are commonly featured on the news, and all policies are usually available via company websites. When choosing which companies to support right now, look into how they are reacting to the crisis, and how their reaction affects the lives of individual employees. Choose businesses whose policies align with what you believe to appropriate.

Either way, while choosing large chains to order from can seem easy, taking the time to look into local spots’ delivery and pickup options is an important way to support your favorite spots. It’s also a time to try out places you haven’t before, and to be adventurous in your food choices. In a time when we can choose which spots to support, let’s support local.