Governors across the country are mandating the shutdown of restaurants and bars. New York City, Los Angeles and other localities are following suit. The cause, of course, is the Coronavirus outbreak and the closings are an effort to mitigate the spread of the growing pandemic. The disruption to these businesses is crushing and for some, possibly fatal. Black restaurants are especially vulnerable and during this time, they need us more than ever.
The Governors of Ohio and Illinois quickly made the call Sunday night to shutdown restaurants and bars. They did, however, carve out a caveat: takeout. Dine-in is suspended but customers can still carryout and order food via delivery services. In this time, when Black restaurants could definitely go under, everyone should be more intentional to support them. If you get hungry, consider a carryout order from a Black restaurant or if you can’t get to them, order takeout. If Black people don’t make the effort to support Black restaurants, who will?
This Coronavirus pandemic may very well be temporal but for small restaurant owners, the impact could be permanent. The restaurant business is a tough one and margins are thin, on any day. Having a slow day is painful but a slow week or month, for many, is a death sentence. The big restaurants and chains will be fine, although many of their shift workers will be crushed. Black restaurants, however, have very few assurances during this time and so it is our collective responsibility to support them. Go carryout that order or get it delivered, it just might save a Black owned business.