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A Simple Thing You Can Do Right Now to Help Save Restaurants

PHOTO: Jim West / Alamy Stock Photo

If you believe that we’re at war with coronavirus, then wartime footing requires wartime measures.

The restaurant industry is on the edge of a cliff. Restaurants are shuttering all over the country or are forced to offer takeout, delivery, or drive-through options only. With thousands of servers, bartenders, cooks, and bussers now out of work, the question lingers, “What can I do?

If you want your favorite bars and restaurants to be around when COVID-19 goes away, it means you need to spend money. In this article, I offered a bunch of solutions for helping food establishments from takeout and delivery to gift cards, but a team of expert public relations experts has come up with a better solution: dining bonds.

WTF are dining bonds? Well, do you remember wartime bonds (or remember reading about wartime bonds in school)? The basic concept here is that you spend, say $75 now on a bond to a restaurant of your choosing, at a later date, that bond will be worth $100 when it comes time to redeem it.

The dining bonds are the brainchild of PR veterans Steve Hall of Hall PR and Helen Patrikis of HP-PR. “We’re already seeing a number of restaurants close and are very concerned about the future of the industry,” says Patrikis. “We hope that these dining bonds help by bringing in much-needed revenue to these restaurants now. No one wants to see their favorite restaurant close its doors, and this is a simple way of offering much-needed support.”

Think of this as an investment in your favorite restaurants. Buy a bond today and redeem it in 30 to 60 days to ensure your favorite spots are still around.

As an example, the 1933 Group (a bar and restaurant group in Los Angeles) is offering $80 bonds to any of their 10 bars/restaurants that you’ll be able to redeem for $100 with NO expiration date. While every restaurant and bar is different and will be setting their own redemption policies (i.e. read the fine print), this is a great way to support local spots while getting a deal at the same time.

If you think this is a scam, just look at the list of participating bars and restaurants that is growing by the minute. There’s Crustacean in Beverly Hills, Mister French and Murray’s Cheese Bar in New York, Veranda in downtown L.A., and so many more.

Steve Hall added, “This is a tremendous opportunity for the community to show their love and support for the hospitality industry and to ensure the future of their favorite restaurants, not to mention the many people who may be forced out of work. Restaurants are a vital part of life—they are places of celebrations and romance, [places that] have seen their guests through many highs and lows. We hope people will remember that now that their favorite eateries need their help. We’re encouraging everyone to put these bonds to work and save restaurants.”

If you want to do your part, think about saving a restaurant. When this f—— virus goes away, you’ll want to cheer with your friends, celebrate with loved ones, and stretch your stomach in ways you didn’t think was possible. So, buy a wartime dining bond–as a gift, for yourself, or just because you care about the thousands of workers who are struggling to make rent. Now is the time.

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