March 24, 2020
All restaurant dining rooms in Pennsylvania are closed, leaving Philadelphia restaurants to find their own ways of staying afloat under extraordinary circumstances. With the Monday announcement of Gov. Tom Wolf's "stay-at-home" order for seven Pennsylvania counties, including Philadelphia county, all "non-life-sustaining" businesses were ordered to close. Some Philadelphia restaurants have remained open with a fraction of their staff, but are only allowed to sell food through curbside takeout and delivery.
Some, but not all, Philly restaurant workers who've already lost their jobs will be able to receive paid sick leave through a law that was recently expanded to include coverage for public health emergencies like coronavirus.
As for restaurants themselves, even those that were able to continue operations are suffering from the huge decrease in customers. More than 40 restaurants have formed a coalition called "Save Philly Restaurants" that's petitioning authorities for a restaurant relief package. You can sign the Change.org petition here.
Aside from the petition, Philly eateries are asking for customers to help support their businesses and employees through takeout, delivery, gift cards and donations. Below are some of the ways that you can support these Philly restaurants while they are struggling. You also can follow along with daily updates from the Pennsylvania Restaurant and Lodging Association.
Philadelphia Restaurant Relief was launched by Marie DiFeliciantonio, co-founder of Bondfire Media Relations & Consulting, which has clients in the Philly hospitality industry. On the site you'll find a long list of restaurants based in Philly and how to contribute to them right now, from purchasing gift cards to making a donation to staff.
If the place you're looking for isn't on Philly Restaurant Relief, try searching the restaurant's website for more information or reach out directly over phone or email.
Philadelphia's "stay-at-home" order prohibits ordering food from a restaurant via walk-in. However, takeout orders placed over the phone or online are still OK for curbside pick-up.
Some Philly restaurants and delivery services like Caviar are offering no-contact delivery, where those who order pay ahead of time and don't have to come in contact with a delivery person.
For a master list of restaurants still doing takeout and delivery in Philly, check out Dining at a Distance. The site has a list of restaurants still in service. Eater Philly also created a handy guide.
Sales on gift cards are another way help restaurants. Most of these gift cards can be used now for still-operating restaurants, or later when dining rooms are able to open again. Some restaurant owners also are setting aside a portion of gift card sales for employees.