How To Help Restaurants And Small Food Business During This Pandemic

The food and beverage industry needs our support now more than ever.

IMAGE Shutterstock

More than a year into the pandemic, a lot has changed since then. It's not just the temperature checks, contact tracing, face shields, face masks, and the work-from-home setups. You might have also noticed that some of your favorite food establishments have said their virtual farewells with a lengthy post on their social media accounts, detailing the painful experiences and obstacles the owners and the staff have gone through just to survive this pandemic. Business owners have to contend with fewer orders but also learn to live with last-minute announcements from the government if dine-in will be allowed or not.

With the rising number of COVID-positive cases in the Philippines, it sure does feel like going back to pre-pandemic dining seems like far into the future. For now, what we can do is to continue supporting these food and beverage businesses so they too have a chance at surviving the pandemic.

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We can continue to have food delivered and, eventually, dine-in, too, once restrictions are eased (See the list, too, of food perks you can get once you are fully vaccinated!). 

Here's how YOU can help restaurants, small food businesses during the pandemic:

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Order if your budget allows you to. 

Yes, all you have to do is just order! Order when you're craving something you can't cook from scratch; order when you're feeling too lazy to prepare breakfast, lunch, or dinner. Order when you have the means to. 

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According to Spanky Enriquez of Resto PH, "Every dish out of the kitchen contributes to the bottom line, no matter how small, it will be appreciated."

Photo by Instagram/snbofficialph

To place an order for Shake n' Bake's Mango Leche Flan, you can message them on Instagram.

Buy Direct and Book Direct

"Food delivery applications can get up to 30% of a restaurant's revenue and it's the application that earns, many establishments actually lose income for the sake of promotion," says Enriquez. 

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Photo by Instagram/sweetsuccess888

To place an order for Sweet Success' Ube Sans Rival cake, you can visit their official website.

What can we do? If we can allot time, it's best to buy directly from the food establishment since more and more have already put up their own websites where you can order and then have it delivered. In some instances, the establishment will even book it for you, so it's made more convenient for the customer.

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Do take note that there should be no shame if you did choose to order through a food delivery application. Ordering food through mobile applications (like GrabFood, foodpanda, Pick-A-Roo, and MetroMart) is still better than not ordering at all.

Leave A Positive Review + Recommend

There's no denying the power of social media-a single post can either make or break a business in a day. 

According to Ching Dee, food writer and food photographer, we can help by sharing our experiences online, tag the official accounts of the restaurant or the business, and, if any, use their hashtags, and Dee adds an important detail we may be overlooking: how to handle our food concerns.

"If you have concerns about your order, PM [personally message] the business first before posting it on social media publicly. A lot of issues can be resolved privately," Dee says.

Photo by Made In Bangkok
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To place an order for Made In Bangkok's Thai Crispy Chicken Curry, you can visit their official website.

For the social media content creators, Ian Carandang of Sebastian's Ice Cream adds, "If you take good photos, take some food porn of their dishes, and tag the restaurant. If you like, you can give them the photos and tell them it's theirs to use for their own marketing. If you have a blog, a Vlog, a TikTok, whatever your field, you can make some content telling your fanbase about your favorite resto."

Everyone Needs Your Support: Big, Small, Local, or International

Who should we buy our food from? Should we be prioritizing certain food establishments?

Jam Melchor, founder of the Philippine Culinary Heritage Movement and the country head of Slow Food Youth Network Philippines, says that "We should continue to buy local, most especially SME/ Micro SMES (small and medium-sized enterprises)."

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Photo by Butternut Bakery

To place an order for Butternut Bakery's Guimaras Mango Cremé Cake, you can visit their official website.

Of course, we should be helping our kababayans, but during these times when everyone is trying to survive, we can also continue showing our support to big corporations, too. 

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Enriquez says, "Order all the food you love from all your favorites, no matter how big or small. Everyone is in survival mode right now given the restrictions that have been imposed all through the pandemic. So please, support your favorite restos, big or small, global brands, mom and pops, single stores, or franchises. They all need our love and patronage."

Photo by Bea Faicol
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Support the resellers, too!

If you're a part of any Viber or Facebook groups in your village, you've probably noticed that your neighbors are reselling certain items whether as a sideline of their full-time job. These also help food businesses, even if indirectly, especially if they can only deliver to specific cities within Metro Manila.

Photo by Sebastian's Ice Cream
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To place an order for Sebastian's Ice Cream's Leche Flan Torte, you can visit their official website.

As such is the case with Sebastian's Ice Cream which is located in Quezon City but they have resellers in the south, like Tub-A-Chill. Carandang says, "They are able to expand our reach to areas beyond our delivery. And even for areas within our delivery range, they are still beneficial because customers are able to order without having to make the minimum for delivery or pay our delivery rates. All our resellers have been vital to our distribution network, enabling us to get our products to the people that want them."

Photo by Mimi & Bros
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To place an order for Mimi & Bros, you can message them via Facebook Messenger or message them on Instagram.

Be Patient

One that requires the least effort and least money is our understanding that operations, even fast food, is not how it used to be, especially when kitchens are understaffed.

Edward Bugia, the "cooking geek" behind Mimi & Bros, Bean and Yolk, John Dough PH, and CHIP Cookies, says it best, "Kapag may dine-in na, be more patient. These people have been out of work for more than a month, tapos on-off, on-off pa 'yan. Hindi na sila sanay. Undermanned usually yung mga tipong hindi afford ng mga restaurant papasukin yung buong complement ng staff."

"Be a little more patient. It can take a while, like 30 minutes, bago lumabas yung food mo. And it's still not normal. Even if it's dine in, even if it's a semblance of normalcy, it's still abnormal."

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