Californians urged to support local restaurants, participate in The Great American Takeout

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Residents in California and across the nation are being asked to help out their local restaurants Tuesday by taking part in The Great American Takeout.

The restaurant industry has taken a big hit amid the coronavirus outbreak, which has prompted officials to order residents to stay home as much as possible. Those officials have made it clear though that going out to get food is OK.

The idea behind The Great American Takeout is to have people give a boost to the food industry by ordering meals for pick-up or delivery at one of their local restaurants.

“This is no longer about the survival of individual restaurants,” Habit Restaurants CEO Russel Bendel said in a statement cited by the Orange County Register. “It’s about the future of our industry. And time has run out. Together, we must act to support each other and our communities in unprecedented ways.”

A coalition of chain restaurants, which started The Great American Takeout promotion, have designated Tuesday, March 24, as the day for everyone to unite and order out.

“All we’re asking people to do is place one take out order today … Just place that one order,” Chief Creative Officer of High Wide and Handsome Mike Wolfsohn said.

Wolfsohn wanted to assure potential customers that ordering take out is safe. 

“The experts, the CDC, the FDA, they’ve all come out and made statements that it is a very, very low risk that the virus is transmitted through food,” Wolfsohn said.

Consumers should also be aware that restaurants at this time are "taking unbelievable precautions" to ensure the public's safety, he said.

Dr. Barbara Ferrer, the director of the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health, noted that restaurants are still being inspected for any possible health violations.

“All licensed restaurants, they know that they get inspected. They know what the rules are. Health inspectors are still out and about," she said Tuesday. That’s our job whether it’s now take out or it’s in-dining services. … There are very strict regulations in place.”

In the city of Los Angeles, Mayor Eric Garcetti encouraged the public to order from their local eateries when he announced on Monday that restaurants would be allowed to deliver alcohol to customers.

The California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control has also eased some statewide restrictions amid the coronavirus.

Among the temporary changes, businesses will be allowed to sell alcohol through a drive-up window or to customers outside of a business.

More information on The Great American Takeout can be found on thegreatamericantakeout.com website.

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