How to Support Restaurants Through COVID-19

In these unprecedented times due to the spread of COVID-19, restaurants are among the hardest-hit businesses. OpenTable data shows severe declines in business, and many have been forced to close, laying off already three million employees in the process. Others have remained open, following rapidly changing local regulations surrounding delivery and take-out.

One thing is clear: Restaurants need our support. During this uncertain time, OpenTable is working around the clock on ways to support restaurants. Currently, we’re heavily promoting delivery, fundraising, and gift cards; offering fee relief to impacted restaurants; working with local restaurant associations; and we have a whole lot more in the works. Here are a few ways you can safely help.

Order take-out and delivery

OpenTable has partnered with Caviar, Postmates, Uber Eats, ChowNow, Olo, and Deliveroo to facilitate delivery and take-out at restaurants on the OpenTable network. To find OpenTable restaurants that offer delivery through these partners, simply go to OpenTable.com/delivery and turn on your location services to populate restaurants delivering near you. Once you decide on one, OpenTable will lead you to order from that restaurant through one of our trusted partners.

We have also compiled a list of OpenTable restaurants offering takeout independently. You can see that list by scrolling to the “Order takeout” section in our app. Select a restaurant and call directly to place a take-out order.

For restaurants not on these services or located outside of service areas, check restaurant websites directly and delivery providers near you for options. Many are also adding new pick-up and curbside options.

In the U.S., UberEats has waived delivery fees during this time from independent restaurants, and is offering restaurants the option to get paid daily for cash flow, instead of the current weekly cycle. DoorDash, which owns Caviar, has taken similar measures for fees.

Contribute to fundraisers

Fundraising has proven to be a critical need for restaurants during this unprecedented time, with many turning to raising money to stay afloat. You can now find fundraising links for restaurants who have chosen to start their own fund on their OpenTable profile pages both online and in the latest version of the app. There are also regional lists that collect restaurants with fundraisers in one handy place: Midwest, Northeast, South, West Coast. Restaurants have been using the donations for basic business needs, such as paying bills and in some cases helping out their staff.

Buy gift cards

Buying gift cards now helps your local restaurants to keep paying staff and bills during these times. Through OpenTable’s gift card marketplace, available in the United Kingdom and United States, you can search by location, cuisine, or price point. Once you choose a restaurant, click on “Buy Gift Card,” which takes you to the restaurant’s gift card sales page. During this time, we have waived our gift card fees to restaurants.

Restaurants in other areas or not in the marketplace may offer gift cards through their websites.

Spread the word on social media

Use Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter to show how you are supporting restaurants right now. Tag @OpenTable, and we can amplify those messages. Spreading the word through social networks could encourage others to do the same.

Everyone’s health and safety is our first priority. We urge everyone to stay informed — the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and World Health Organization regularly update their sites — and to take the recommended precautions.