How To Support Restaurants After A Hurricane

Hope everyone’s hanging in there after this Hurricane Dorian.

Maybe it’s still going on, not sure as I’m writing this on Wednesday afternoon. Jeff and I are trapped in the house after trying to beat the hurricane home from a trip to Boston. We got to talking about just how inconvenient a hurricane really is, especially for the restaurant industry. Tack on Charleston Restaurant Week, set to run once places reopen, and owning a restaurant becomes extra stressful.

Originally, I was headed in a different direction with this post, which you can read here later.

For now, in lieu of a marketing tip, here’s what restaurants in town are dealing with and some ways to support them during and after Dorian. 

Hurricanes mean forced closures due to delayed or cancelled food deliveries and the inability of their staff to physically get to work. Days worth of inventory sits in the walk-in unused, ultimately turning into waste and increased food cost. Sure, there’s insurance, but there’s a finite number of days in the year and seats in the building, so every day closed is a huge loss.

And that’s before the storm even arrives. 

Once it passes, keep all this in mind.

Go out to eat once it’s safe to again, but realize it will take a while to get things running at 100%. Know that even next week once they reopen, restaurants and their teams are doing the best they can.

Be patient.

If restaurants are open today, they’re working with a skeleton staff and limited menu.

Again, be patient.

Don’t write a bad review if you go expecting your favorite dish and they’re out. Maybe it takes a little longer for you to be seated. If it’s the only place around that’s open, it may even be busier than what you’re used to. Reconsider if you’re thinking about sending something back to the kitchen (who does this!?), it’s almost certainly not the usual cook that’s preparing your food for you.

Be kind.

Be kind to the bartenders and servers that have shown up so that you’re able to get out of the house for a little while. They’ve lost income they depend on that they might not have the chance to get back. So, pay full price and maybe tip a little extra. Relax and enjoy yourself, get to know the people who are serving you.

Let go of your expectations and you’ll probably end up having the one of the most memorable nights out in a while.

Whatever you do, stay safe out there! 

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