Great American Takeout Part 2, Virginia marketing campaign help boost eateries
Restaurants in Virginia are getting a lot of love this week. First, Maryland, Virginia and DC all issued stay-at-home orders and restaurants in the area were able to continue takeout and delivery as essential businesses. Second, Virginia began promoting “Virginia is for Restaurant Lovers Week,” a campaign celebrated from March 30 to April 5. Lastly, today, March 31 is the Great American Takeout Part 2; this is the second in a series of initiatives to increase demand for pickup and delivery orders at a time when restaurants need the business. Social distancing and dining room closures have pummeled restaurant industry sales.
In Arlington, restaurants lincluding Taco Rock, Manhattan Pizza, Northside Social, Liberty Tavern, and many, many more are offering takeout. In Fairfax County, local favorites, including Open Road in Merrifield, District BBQ in Mosaic, 2941 Restaurant and Liberty BBQ in Falls Church, Tysons Social Tavern, and many others are all eager to celebrate Virginia is for Lovers Week. All of these restaurants are open for pickup orders and some are also doing delivery. Get more information on the Virginia is for Restaurant Lovers blog post and use the hashtag #virginiaeatslocal.
As for the Great American Takeout, a coalition of restaurants that initially started the program, together with PepsiCo, Smithfield Foods and Ventura Foods, are helping promote a national takeout/delivery night across America. Smithfield Foods will donate $5 for every social media post tagged with #TheGreatAmericanTakeout to CORE (Children of Restaurant Employees), up to a $50,000 maximum. CORE helps foodservice employees with children facing a natural disaster or health crisis.
Likewise, Ventura Foods, will donate $5 for every social media post tagged with #TheGreatAmericanTakeout, up to $25,000, to the Restaurant Employee Rescue Fund (RERF) at rerf.us The National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation (NRAEF) recently started RERF to support U.S. restaurants that were adversely impacted financially by the COVID-19 outbreak.
The coalition of restaurants that started the Great American Takeout included Veggie Grill, The Habit Burger Grill, Blaze Pizza, Applebee’s Neighborhood Grill + Bar, El Torito, Chevys Fresh Mex, California Pizza Kitchen, Lazy Dog Cafe, Torchy’s Tacos, The Cheesecake Factory, and Panera Bread, The initial #TheGreatAmericanTakeout created more than 50,000 hashtags, which triggered a $100,000 donation from Smithfield Foods to CORE.
Photo credit: Omar Gattis
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