Why you should order take-out, and how to do it safely

Kaitlyn Bowers, Video Director

Restaurants have taken a huge hit in the past few months due to COVID-19. While it might be easy for large corporations to bounce back from this, the same cannot be said for local restaurants. Luckily, there is a way to support these businesses while still keeping yourself safe. 

Many restaurants have transitioned to takeout and curbside orders only, with very few workers present, in order to lessen human interaction. This can be vital for local restaurants. 

“Everyone at our restaurant is laid off right now except for salaried managers, which leaves about 60 people without jobs,” said Jenni Tsai, a UNF student and server at the local Restaurant Orsay in Riverside. “However, all the tips from curbside and to-go orders are going to the Employee Relief Fund, which will be split up between all of the laid off employees to help with survival, so it’s really important to keep ordering curbside and to-go.”

While it can seem risky to order takeout during a pandemic, there are only a few steps to take to keep yourself safe while also supporting restaurants like Orsay and their employees. 

  • Order directly from the restaurant. 

There are many food delivery services, such as DoorDash and Postmates, that can be tempting to use so you don’t have to leave your house. However, this increases the amount of people your food comes in contact with, so it’s best to skip the apps and order from the restaurant itself. Some restaurants are offering delivery, even ones that wouldn’t under normal circumstances. 

  • Throw away the packaging. 

What comes in contact with humans the most in a delivery scenario is the bag and the containers the food are in. Since the CDC has said that the virus can live on surfaces, it is suggested that you throw away the packaging of your food as soon as possible and wash your hands directly after. 

  • Order locally. 

Local businesses usually mean smaller businesses, which means that your food comes in contact with less people. Helping out a restaurant that might suffer harder than others is also an added bonus.

  • Tip well. 

While these restaurant employees can seem lucky to still have a job, they are still putting themselves at risk by simply doing their job. A standard tip is around 20 percent. Keep in mind, however, that it is best to tip electronically, as cash harbors a lot of bacteria. 

These tips can help you stay safe while still enjoying food from your favorite restaurants.

“It’s so important to keep ordering to-go,” said Tsai. “Without it, I don’t know if we could stay afloat.”


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