One of the things we love most about our town is the fabulous array of independent restaurants and specialty food shops. Concord offers such a unique offering and wide variety of places to eat or buy delicious food.
As we head into late fall / winter, we have to remember to find ways to support these businesses so they can survive the pandemic.
Stock your pantry, stock your freezer, purchase gift cards, treat yourself or a neighbor to a take out meal, gather items for an outdoor picnic by the firepit.
Mass Restaurant Association and SEATED have just announced plans to roll out The “Eat Out to Help Out MA” program will provide Bay State restaurant patrons with a 50 percent rebate on any check from full-service restaurants, for both on and off-premise dining, from Monday to Wednesday each week in November. Customers can reap their rewards by downloading a SEATED app (https://seatedapp.io).
Eat Out to Help Out is an initiative to help the Massachusetts restaurant industry.
It’s a replication of the Eat Out to Help Out initiative in the UK that generated millions of dollars of off-peak guest spend.
50 % rebate on any off-peak check
For the month of November, Seated will provide a 50% rebate on any check from a full-service in Massachusetts for dining experiences
enjoyed from Monday–Wednesday.
How Does a Guest Get Their Rebate?
- Guests download Seated to discover
- Guests dine out and pay full
price in the restaurant.
- Guests return to Seated to submit their
receipt and receive their rebate in the form
of cash or credit at their favorite brand
The restaurants below are members of Massachusetts Restaurant Association:
- THE COLONIAL INN
CAFES & BAKERIES
Caffe Nero, Concord Teacakes, Dunkin’ Donuts, Haute Coffee, Nashoba Brook Bakery, Sally Ann’s, Starbucks, Verrill Farm
Asian Gourmet, Chang An, Karma, Sushi house
ITALIAN & PIZZA
Comella’s, Dinos Farfalle, Fiorellas, New London Pizza, Paparazzi, Rossini’s, Sorrento’s, Walden pizza
AMERICAN & FARM to TABLE
80 Thoreau, Club Car Cafe, Helen’s, Liberty at the Colonial Inn, Main Streets Market & Cafe, Merchant’s Row at the Colonial Inn, Rapscallions, Salt Box Kitchen, The 99, Trail’s End, Twin Seafood, Woods Hill Table
SPECIALTY FOOD & FOOD MARKETS
The Concord Cheese Shop, Concord Market, Concord Provisions & Country Store, Crosby’s Market, Debra’s Natural Gourmet, Farfalle, Graem, New England Olive Oil, Nine Acre Corner, Priscilla’s Candy, Salt Box Kitchen, Twin Seafood, Verrill Farm
Bedford Farms, Helen’s, Reasons to be Cheerful
WINE & LIQUOR STORES:
Concord Cheese Shop, Concord Market, Concord Provisions & Country Store, Crosby’s Market, Nine Acre Wines, Vintages Adventures in Wine, Walden Liquors, West Concord Liquor Store
The New York Times “At Home” section offers these suggestions on How to Support Independent Restaurants:
1. Eat as much takeout as possible.
Set aside a specific day to give yourself a treat and keep a local restaurant alive. Some restaurants are making frozen-food dishes and other pantry items — frozen enchiladas, dumplings, family-style meals — that will keep longer than any given night’s dinner, so be sure to ask even if they don’t advertise them. Many restaurants are also offering takeout drinks and cocktails.
2. Order straight from the restaurant.
While convenient, delivery apps like DoorDash and UberEats take a significant percentage of sales — up to 30 percent — and it is impossible to maintain a successful business model while using them exclusively, said Mrs. White of Everett and Jones. Instead of firing up an app, call your favorite restaurant and put in your order over the phone, or order directly from the restaurant’s website, if possible.
3. Pick up yourself, and pay cash.
If you can walk to the restaurant and pick up the food yourself, do so, and pay with cash. Is there a friend or family member you can help who can’t go out? Pick up a hot meal for them, too. In addition to getting some extra exercise, you’ll save the business the fees — usually about 2 percent of a purchase — charged by credit card companies.
4. Tip well.
A large restaurant may be able to afford servers to cater to people seated outside, but a smaller restaurant might only be able to staff a cook and a front-of-house person to pack and take orders. Many customers are tipping less, or not at all, because they perceive this to be a lower level of service than they are accustomed to when going out, said Alice Liu, who grew up in Manhattan’s Chinatown and helps run Grand Tea Imports, her family’s multigenerational tea and import business. Remember that restaurant employees are working hard to provide you with a dining experience during an unprecedented time, and at a higher risk of exposure to themselves. A healthy tip is a way to show your appreciation.
5. Shop at markets and stores in your community, too.
So much of a neighborhood like Chinatown depends upon foot traffic. You can buy groceries and fresh produce, gifts and kitchenware as well as restaurant meals. Think about other items you might normally buy elsewhere or online, and consider purchasing from the individual small businesses around you.
6. Purchase gift cards.
Ask your restaurant if it offers gift cards or gift certificates. Many businesses now allow online or emailed gift certificates where they might have accepted only paper options in the past. It’s a good way to support a restaurant while giving a welcome pick-you-up to someone else.
7. Ask how you can help.
If you have time and skills to donate, offer them. Community organizations have been helping restaurants build their outdoor dining infrastructure with volunteer programs; consider joining a program like New York’s Assembly for Chinatown. Ask if you can help by setting up GoFundMe donation pages or building simple online presences for these businesses, for whom technology can be an obstacle. “As customers, you can encourage mom-and-pop owners and see if you can help them navigate things online or on social media, especially in Chinatown or older, non-English speaking communities,” Ms. Liu said.
“Technology is one thing that can really help you in this time,” added Mrs. White.