Restaurant promoters encourage support for shuttered independent restaurants during 'takeout week'

Posted at 8:37 PM, Mar 30, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-30 22:27:54-04

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. -- A new campaign all across Virginia looks to help local independent restaurants flourish with business as the coronavirus pandemic shuttered dining rooms and forced those businesses to resort to delivering or offer curbside pick up to their customers. It's called "Takeout Week."

"We're trucking on through. We're being as safe as we possibly can," Forrest Warren, the head chef at Smoke BBQ Restaurant and Bar, said. "It hasn't stopped us, but it's definitely a big bump in the road."

That "it" Warren talked about is the coronavirus, and it hit the restaurant's bottom line. They're one of the restaurants participating in "Takeout Week."

"Our business is literally down 75% from last year," Warren said.

The week-long promotion was created by the Virginia Tourism Corporation and the Virginia Restaurant, Lodging and Travel Association. The Newport News Tourism Office is one of the partners.

"They get to see their people that come once a week to their restaurants, and at least they can keep that relationship going," Cheryl Morales, the tourism office's marketing manager, said.

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A lot of restaurants like Smoke BBQ Restaurant and Bar set up curbside pick-up, where someone can pick up their food and drinks and then just drive off. It is a social distancing measure.

"Any good restaurant worker is already implementing best safety practices anyway, so we're just stepping it up a notch," Warren said.

"If you're getting kind of sick of cooking at home, look at this list because there's a variety of everything," Morales said.

To find a participating restaurant near you, click here for a full list of counties and cities.

Click here for full coronavirus coverage.