MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WMBF) - Restaurants around the country are teaming up to get Americans to eat out.
Groups dubbed March 24 the “Great American Takeout,” and they called on everyone to support restaurants in the coronavirus pandemic. Some are even offering deals and free delivery.
The coalition include companies like Panera Bread. Their push comes as the restaurant industry struggles with the pandemic.
Many state governors have ordered all restaurants and bars to close their dine-in service to help stop the spread of COVID-19. Delivery, curbside pickup and takeout were still available options.
South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster ordered that closure on March 17.
The industry estimates up to seven million people will lose their jobs in the next three months.
During this time of year, Jamie Daskalis, the owner and head chef of Johnny D’s restaurant on North Kings Highway, said the restaurant is usually packed.
“We got shut down and it was just a halt completely,” Daskalis said.
Naturally, she said business has slowed down a lot forcing them to make temporary layoffs. However, they plan to rehire their employees once the restaurant is fully back up and running.
In the meantime, because they currently rely solely on to-go orders, Daskalis said the community’s support is important.
“One busy day could keep an owner’s spirits up to be like, ‘OK, I can do this one more day.’ That’s one more day down,” she said.
Over at Magnolia’s on South Ocean Boulevard, the chairs remain flipped over on tables. Customers placed their orders at the front.
“Our takeout has been good," Marketing Director Michelle Sturcenbecker. "Our numbers are growing every day and we are so appreciative of that.”
Across the Grand Strand, a number of eateries are offering curbside pickup, takeout and delivery. That list can be found here.