There is a nationwide effort to save the restaurant industry which is struggling with coronavirus closures. A coalition of U.S. restaurants declared today, the Great American Takeout Day.
Buon Appetito is one of a handful of Little Italy Restaurants trying to stay afloat by offering takeout, curbside service, and even delivery.
Takeout may have fewer frills then the regular dining experience, but customers are happy to do their part.
There is less traffic then normal on a Tuesday night in Little Italy, still those in the neighborhood came with a purpose.
"During the furlough, because I work for the federal government, they supported me, so I want to support them back,” Buon Appetito customer Katy Connon said.
Great American Takeout Day may be the first organized movement, but the practice of supporting local eateries has been in effect since the coronavirus closed many of them.
"Local business need as much support as we can give them at this time. So, it's a great idea," takeout customer Jason Bowie said.
The drive-up at Davanti Enoteca is only a fraction of its normal business but it keeps some staffers employed at least part-time.
"We don't have many choices. This is the only way we can try to survive,” general manager Carlos Anaya said.
Customers may miss some of the more sophisticated service but the food and good cause are what lures them from their homes.
"I can help out because I normally eat out, so why not keep doing that? I just have to eat it at my house. That is not a problem," Connon said.
Great American Takeout Day won't save the restaurant industry. A month of take out days won't save it either, but the support of the devoted clientele is having an affect hard to put a price on.
"We are so lucky to have so many regular customers that are coming in, texting us and sending messages of support in our social media. We are pretty blessed,” Buon Appetito manager Danijela Popovic said.
The Food and Drug Administration said there is currently no evidence of food or food packaging associated with transmission of the coronavirus. Restaurants are increasing safety measures, and customers are encouraged to wash their hands after touching takeout containers and before eating their food.