There is, according to legend, an ancient curse: May you live in interesting times.
Well, I think we can all agree that the present day is, at the very least, “interesting.” For local restaurants and the countless people they employ, however, it’s much more nearly devastating. The restaurant industry is notorious for running on razor-thin margins; during good, healthy times, it is extremely challenging (some would say nearly impossible) for even excellent eateries to survive. So imagine, then, how much harder it is now—and will continue to be for the foreseeable future—amid a pandemic.
Which is why the PR industry has banded together during this time to create Dining Bonds.
“Due to the impact that the coronavirus Covid-19 is having on the restaurant community, a team of restaurant industry veterans have set into motion a nationwide initiative to help get funds into the hands of restaurants now,” reads the campaign’s press release.
“To help ensure the survival of these restaurants, many of which are family owned, the PR industry has banded together to create a campaign called Dining Bonds. These bonds work just like savings bonds, where guests can purchase a bond at a value rate today, to be redeemed for full face value in the future.”
These dining bonds will be offered by participating restaurants across the country at a suggested savings of 25% when purchased. A $100 bond, for example, will sell for $75 and can be redeemed for full value on or after the redemption date (typically, 30 to 60 days after purchase—though this may vary, so make sure to check in with specific participating restaurants).
To search for and connect with these restaurants, please visit www.supportrestaurants.org, the campaign’s dedicated website. From there, transactions can be fulfilled directly between customer and restaurant.
“We’re already seeing a number of restaurants close and are very concerned about the future of the industry,” says Helen Patrikis of HP-PR, a co-founder of the Dining Bonds initiative. “We hope that these dining bonds help by bringing in much needed revenue to these restaurants now. No one wants to see their favorite restaurant close its doors, and this is a simple way for the public to show much needed support.”
“This is a very challenging time, and we’re experiencing something we have never had to deal with before,” says Jennifer Petrocelli, executive director of The Preston House & Hotel, a participating restaurant. “We want to remain optimistic, so this initiative shows solidarity within our restaurant community and hopefully reassures our guests that if they aren’t able to visit us at this point in time, we’ll be here for them when things settle down.”
Steven Hall, president of Hall PR and a co-founder of the campaign, adds, “This is a tremendous opportunity for the community to show their love and support for the hospitality industry and to ensure the future of their favorite restaurants, not to mention the many people who may be forced out of work. Restaurants are a vital part of life; they are places of celebrations and romance, and have seen their guests through many highs and lows. We hope people will remember that now that their favorite eateries need their help. We’re encouraging everyone to put these bonds to work and save restaurants!”
Dozens of restaurants have already signed on to the program, with many more expected to join. They range from fine dining to family dining and represent the vast array of restaurants that diners have to choose from on a daily basis. For a full list of participating restaurants, to sign on as a restaurant, or for more information, visit www.supportrestaurants.org.