Downtown restaurants are getting creative during the COVID-19 crisis. Here are six ways you can support them.
Why restaurants need our support right now
About 40 restaurants operate in the Downtown district, and the majority of them have temporarily closed in the past three weeks. These businesses are a huge part of the culture and economy of our district, owned and operated by local residents with family ties here in Acadiana. They are small businesses, and many of them cannot continue to operate without a steady flow of revenue.
The restrictions on gathering due to COVID-19 mean that restaurants can only sell food via takeout or delivery, but it doesn’t mean “dining out” can’t still be a fun event for you and your family. The information below is a guide to how you can support this crucial industry during the COVID-19 crisis.
What restaurants are open?
We have a list of open restaurants in Downtown that we update regularly with new information, but we recommend calling the businesses to check on their status, hours of operation, best options available to order, and any specials they are offering during this time.
1. Get out of the house for a Downtown Toot n’ Scoot
Everyone is feeling a little cooped-up lately and looking for an excuse to get out of the house. If you live in or near Downtown, a walk or bike ride to pick up takeout from your favorite restaurant might be the best way to stretch your legs. The weather has been gorgeous lately, and the streets of Downtown are as peaceful as they’ve ever been.
Don’t live close enough to walk? Many Downtown restaurants have designated “Toot n’ Scoot” parking spaces in front of their business. These designated spaces are there for customers to be able to pick up their takeout orders without leaving the car. Just ask the restaurant if they offer curbside pickup when you place your order and have them fill you out on the details.
Downtown restaurants have been embracing the new curbside pick up system. Here’s a fun video from the staff at Spoonbill Watering Hole showing their love for the new Toot n’ Scoot zones.
2. Get dinner delivered
If you don’t feel like leaving the house, many local restaurants now have delivery options via Waitr, Door Dash, Grub Hub, or their own employees. Check out our open restaurants page to see which Downtown restaurants can deliver to you.
3. Take advantage of family meal options
Having the whole family at home all day can be a strain on the kitchen. If you’re looking for a night off from in front of the stove, many restaurants are now offering family meal packages that can save you time and cleanup.
Family meal options from Downtown restaurants
The French Press – Easter Brunch Buffet
Spoonbill Watering Hole & Restaurant – Brunch Buffet Family Pack
4. Buy a gift card online
One way you can help restaurants with much-needed cash flow is by purchasing a gift card online. We suggest purchasing cards from your favorite restaurants and saving them for when you can dine-in again. Use it for a special occasion or night on the town and know that your free dinner in the future helped keep a restaurant on its feet during this crisis.
5. Lost My Tips Fundraiser
Right now is an extremely tough time for hospitality workers, many of whom have been laid off, had hours cut, and have lost out on crucial income from tips. These workers don’t have the luxury to go weeks or months without work, so they need support from our community. The Lost My Tips Fundraiser is an online fundraiser created by Social Entertainment, Downtown Lafayette, and United Way of Acadiana that aims to support out-of-work restaurant employees who have lost jobs and wages as a result of COVID-19. The fundraiser began on Monday, April 6 and will run through April 18th. Your donation to this fund could help a waitress or cook keep food on the table for their family while they are unable to generate an income.
6. Leave a positive review
A cost-free and easy way to show your support for local restaurants is to leave a positive review of their service online. Eventually, the world will return to normal and restaurants will be able to operate as normal again. When that happens, it will be helpful for these businesses to maintain a solid online reputation. Plus your words of kindness in an online review can be a ray of light for an employee or business owner going through a dark time. Can you leave a positive review for 3 businesses today? It can mean a world of difference to these small businesses!