Restaurants across the state are fearing financial ruin as the COVID-19 outbreak has nearly shuttered the industry as state leaders and public health officials work to slow the spread.
Gov. Doug Ducey has ordered all restaurants in Arizona counties with confirmed cases to stop providing dining inside. Currently, 12 out of the state’s 15 counties are affected. Bars are required to close until further notice. Restaurants, however, can deliver alcoholic beverages with the purchase of food.
For now, the industry’s best hope is that customers opt for takeout, pick up and delivery.
A number of organizations and businesses are taking measures to promote restaurants – from casual dining to haute cuisine – that offer these options.
AZ Take Out Weeks lists eateries with curbside pick up, takeout, delivery
Until the COVID-19 virus reduces, the Arizona Restaurant Association is promoting every week as AZ Take Out Weeks to make it easy for diners to find local restaurants that are open and cooking.
By jumping on the AZ Take Out Weeks website, diners can find restaurants that have takeout, curbside pickup or delivery.
Restaurants also are being encouraged to register for free on the website and post their menus, hours and take out options at: restaurant registration.
Tucson Weekly is listing Southern Arizona restaurants that offer pick-up and takeout options.
ARA President and CEO Steve Chucri said AZ Takeout Week will run through the entirety of the COVID-19 closures. The marketing initiative is intended not only to help restaurants but diners and those who depend on dining establishments as a food source, he said. And, if restaurants can survive, more staffers remain employed.
Arizona has more than 10,000 dining establishments that employ more than 229,000 staff with annual restaurant sales of $13.4 billion, said Chucri, who commended the Gov. Duceyr’s efforts to mitigate the spread of the virus and allow restaurants to operate on a limited basis.
“At the end of the day, we are the industry of ‘happy’ — that is what the hospitality industry represents. We hope to bring a bit of happiness to Arizonans during this extremely difficult time through Arizona Takeout Week while keeping our employees and restaurants afloat,” Chucri said.
UberEats, DoorDash, GrubHub waive restaurant fees
Several food delivery services are waiving or deferring fees and commissions paid by restaurants to help these small businesses survive.
To encourage dining customers to use their services during this time, many delivery services are taking extra sanitary measures. Some offer an option for “no contact” deliveries where packages are left at the front door.
To help independent restaurants, UberEats has waived delivery fees for all orders from on its app. Customers can find independent restaurants by looking for the EAT LOCAL banner in the app. Delivery Fees will be automatically waived on all applicable orders.
DoorDash announced it is eliminating commission fees on pickup orders for all existing restaurant clients. Through April 30, independent restaurants also can sign up for free with DoorDash and pay zero commissions for 30 days.
Grubhub, which supports more than 4,800 Phoenix restaurants, is deferring its commission fees for independent restaurants.
For restaurant owners and employees impacted, the Arizona Restaurant Association has compiled various resources to assist and update them at: Covid-19 Resources.