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How to help Austin service workers as bars, restaurants ordered closed

Many restaurants are offering curbside or delivery options.

AUSTIN, Texas — On Tuesday, the City of Austin ordered bars and restaurant dining rooms to close as it limited gatherings to no more than 10 people in an effort to slow the spread of coronavirus.

That move will effect the second largest industry sector of Austin’s economy, Mayor Steve Adler said.

The City has said it will look into efforts to provide relief for those businesses and workers, but members of the community have already stepped up to offer support. Here is how you can help.

Order takeout or delivery

While restaurant dining rooms are closed, many restaurants are still offering food via delivery or curbside takeout. On Tuesday, Adler also said food trucks would be allowed to remain open without seating areas.

Depending on the restaurant, you can visit the website or call the restaurant directly to place an order.

For an ongoing list of Austin restaurants offering takeout options visit takeouttracker.com.

Delivery apps such as Uber Eats, Grubhub, Favor and Postmates have waived delivery fees for customers, as well as fees for restaurants using their services, to help provide food for people social distancing and support local workers and businesses.

Give Local

If you’d like to help your favorite restaurant or bar directly but there is no option for takeout or delivery, another option is to buy a gift card to use at a later date.

Give Local is helping to compile a list of those restaurants across the United States, including in Austin.

Austin Curbside

The newly launched website Austin Curbside is aiming to compile a list of restaurants offering curbside takeout services to customers during the coronavirus shutdown.

A spokesperson said it’s a way for restaurants to easily offer a curbside menu and there are no fees for diners or restaurants.

Another similar page, COVID safety Curbside Pickup Austin & surrounding areas, has been launched on Facebook to help customers find available to-go orders in the Austin area.

Southern Smoke Foundation

Houston chef Chris Shepherd started Southern Smoke in 2015 to help his friend and former sommelier Antonio Gianola, who was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. In 2017, the organization helped provide assistance to people in the food and beverage industry affected by Hurricane Harvey.

Since then it has donated more than $1.6 million through its Emergency Relief Fund help those in the industry.

South By South Best

After the cancellation of Austin’s South By Southwest festival and conference, local company T3 set up a GoFundMe to help service workers affected by the news. Since then, it has raised more than $12,000.

On Sunday, T3 said it was keeping the donation window open as it determines how to share the donations without compromising the intent of social distancing.

Know of any other organizations helping Austin’s service industry? Let us know at news@kvue.com.


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