Update, March 23, 2021: Last year, The Great American Takeout campaign was started to promote purchasing food from local restaurants to help them get sales during the pandemic. Now, a year after the campaign was started it's returning again and you can get involved by posting on social media and raising money in the process.
For every post on Wednesday, March 24 using the hashtag #TheGreatAmericanTakeout, Smithfield Culinary will make a $10 donation (a $5 increase from last year's donation) up to $100,000 to CORE: Children of Restaurant Employees and
NRAEF: National Restaurant Association and Educational Foundation. The money goes directly to food and beverage industry service workers and their families.
To get involved you can post a photo of The Great American Takeout logo to social media with the hashtag in the caption, or can order from one of your favorite local restaurants and use the hashtag in a photo of your food.
Update, April 14, 2020: It's Tuesday once again, which means it's time to participate in The Great American Takeout by ordering your food to-go from a restaurant. In case you needed something to entice you to participate besides delicious food, the campaign is now giving you the chance to win free gift cards.
Here's how it works: Order take-out tonight and post a photo of it with the hashtags #TheGreatAmericanTakeout and #Sweepstakes, and tag @TheGATakeout on Twitter or @thegreatamericantakeout on Instagram.
One person will win free takeout for a year in the form of a $5,000 gift card, while 100 more winners will receive a $50 gift card each, all courtesy of The Coca-Cola Company. Even if you don't win, Rich Products will donate $5 to the Restaurant Employee Relief Fund—up to $25,000 total—for every social media post tagged with #TheGreatAmericanTakeout on April 14, so it's worth it either way. Happy eating!
Update, March 31, 2020: For the second week in a row, restaurants are urging customers to participate in The Great American Takeout. Participating couldn't be easier: Just order your favorite meal for pick-up or delivery. You can spread the word by announcing your dinner (or lunch!) plans with the hashtag #thegreatamericantakeout.
Personally, I'll be ordering from my favorite local spot...they even delivered me a margarita the other day. It doesn't get better than that!
Original, March 24, 2020 11:13 a.m.: The food industry has been hit hard by the effects of the COVID-19 outbreak, as people are urged to social distance and some cities and states are requiring restaurants to shift to a "to-go only" model. Though this is an important step to slow the spread of coronavirus, it can be devastating financially. In an effort to support restaurants in this trying time, one group has urged customers to order food today and tell others to do the same.
It's called The Great American Takeout, and it's super easy to participate. All you have to do, really, is order at least one take-out or delivery meal from your favorite spot (or just whatever you're in the mood for that day...). Organizers are also hoping you'll spread the word by announcing your plans to order out, encouraging friends to do the same, and by taking a photo of your meal, all using the #thegreatamericantakeout.
Tons of restaurants are participating in the call, including Panera Bread, Noodles & Company, The Cheesecake Factory, IHOP, Applebee’s, Primanti Brothers, California Pizza Kitchen, and Black Bear Diner. You can order from any restaurant you want, though, and it's especially encouraged that you support local restaurants.
"This is no longer about the survival of individual restaurants," said CEO of The Habit Burger Grill Russ Bendel: "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."
This is a great time to note that ordering take-out or delivery during the COVID-19 outbreak is safe with a few precautions. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Food and Drug Administration, there is little evidence that COVID-19 can be transmitted through food or packaging.
But you can opt for contactless delivery to keep you and your delivery driver safer. You should also be sure to wash your hands before and after receiving the food, as well as before eating. Oh, and be sure to tip well too. Learn more about being safe when ordering take-out here.
There is a lot you can do for local restaurants and restaurant workers once you finish your take-out (and leftovers!) tonight, too. Look into ordering gift cards, donate to restaurant worker relief funds, order merchandise, and keep ordering take-out and delivery beyond today.
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