‘If they don’t come out we’ll have to close:’ Resturants call for customers during Great American Takeout

BOSTON (WHDH) - (WHDH) — Local restaurants are asking for the public’s support as the coronavirus pandemic continues to hurt their businesses.

The restaurant industry is encouraging customers to order at least one takeout or delivery meal Tuesday as part of the Great American Takeout initiative.

“If they don’t come out we’ll have to close … we won’t be able to pay our rent,” said Laurette Ndukwe of Nzuko in Framingham.

“I mean, everyone’s down. We’re definitely down as well but we’re excited to still have this opportunity,” said Andrew Toto of the Yellow Door Taqueria in Boston. “We’ve definitely seen a great outreach from our neighborhood and we’re trying to be reciprocal with that, we’re trying to give back.”

Several states across the United States, including Massachusetts and New Hampshire, have ordered restaurants to shut down their dining-in services in an attempt to stop the spread of the coronavirus.

“To be part of putting 300,000 of them out of work … to be part of having to say you have to close your doors for the American dream you worked so hard to build … I know is the worst day I’ll ever see,”  said Bob Luz of the Massachusetts Restaurant Association. “Please … for your neighbors, for our friends, come out to the restaurant – they’re there for you in the best of times and the worst of times.”

The Takeout initiative asks residents to help out their local establishments by getting one meal to go from a restaurant. Craig Tornifoglio of Ken’s Steakhouse said they’ll get the food to customers however they feel is safe.

“We’ve had guests ask us to leave it on the steps, just leave it. We walk in and they get out of their car and get it, “Tornifoglio said. “We’ve had people take the to go food and put it in their own containers, tupperware.”

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