As coronavirus spreads in the UK, more and more people are practising social distancing or self-isolating, meaning going out to restaurants or bars is not an option. While the government hasn’t enforced closures of venues, many have decided to shut, given the current circumstances. Local businesses need your support more than ever and there are plenty of ways you can help keep them keep afloat without leaving the house.
1. Order a takeaway
Even if you like cooking, you’re probably going to get a bit sick of it soon. And you (probably) can’t live off Mini Cheddars and spoonfuls of peanut butter alone. Luckily, London’s takeaway options are pretty extensive. The big companies like Deliveroo, UberEats and JustEat are offering ‘no-contact’ deliveries, meaning they’ll leave the food on your doorstep if you don’t want to come into contact with anyone. Lots of small businesses are introducing new takeaway services, too. The list is ever-expanding and includes roasts from Peckham’s Coal Room, Rice Error by Bao serving everyone’s favourite hot Taiwanese buns and The Cheese Bar, which is firing up its cheese truck to deliver pre-ordered cheese and wine. London foodie Clerkenwell Boy has collated this excellent list of London restaurants and whether they’re open or offering delivery – keep checking back as he’s updating it regularly.
2. Buy a gift voucher
If you have cash to spare, now is a good time to ‘invest’ in your favourite restaurants and stock up on gift vouchers from them. It helps them earn some cash in a difficult time and you’ll be able to use the vouchers once this blows over – think of it like an IOU. Patty & Bun is offering vouchers for £30 or £50 and it’ll even throw in a ‘black card’, which means you’ll get 10 percent off for life. Other restaurants offering vouchers include Trullo, Four Legs, Kricket and Harts Group, which owns Quo Vadis, El Pastor and Casa Pastor, as well as the four-branch chain Barrafina.
3. Buy merch
From tote bags to hot sauce to T-shirts, London’s restaurants and bars have some pretty great merch. Even if you’re working from home and not leaving the house much, you still need to shop, eat and wear clothes (your colleagues will thank you for that on those conference calls), so now’s the time to order those things you’ve always wanted but felt like you didn’t exactly need. Consider it the only non-annoying kind of stockpiling.
4. Leave a review
Does anyone ever leave reviews unless they’re complaining? Now’s the time to change that. Positive reviews can really help local businesses and leaving some glowing reviews for your favourite places will be an asset when they are able to re-open. It’ll only take you a few minutes – what else are you doing with your spare time?
5. Shop locally (even if it’s online)
Your local supermarket is probably not a fun place to be right now and online delivery slots from the major supermarkets are increasingly hard to come by. But you can still stock up by shopping locally – lots of restaurants and cafés will be selling deli products and other food supplies. You can still pick up Dusty Knuckle’s awesome sourdough and baked goods (and it’s launching a delivery service soon) and many restaurants, cafés and producers have online shops. Seize the day and buy lots of your favourite beer, coffee or anything edible that’s made by London producers.
Want to do your bit for the community? This Hackney kitchen is crowdfunding to supply free meals to the vulnerable.