LOS ANGELES – You can support local restaurants by participating in #TheGreatAmericanTakeout on Tuesday, March 24. The social media initiative is asking Americans to order takeout or delivery from their favorite restaurant to support the industry during this time.
Once you get your order, you can post on social media using the hashtag #TheGreatAmericanTakeout.
Smithfield Foods will be donating $5 for every post up to $100,000 to CORE, Children of Restaurant Employees.
With more deliveries, more drivers are needed. One driver knew the job would be in high demand. Dave Howard now spends his days waiting for requests.
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“It could be almost instantaneous. As soon as I’m dropping off one, I’m already set up to go to the next delivery. Sometimes it takes a few minutes,” said Howard.
Howard usually drives Uber and he's noticed a difference when it comes to driving delivery.
“When you are giving regular Uber rides, you go to where the passengers are. But now, we are delivering food, not people, so you want to be around where the restaurants are,” said Howard.
Howard didn’t always have a bag of fries and burgers as his passenger, he had people. He has been a rideshare driver since he was laid off two years ago. The flexibility allows him to go to school and work full time.
But ever since the coronavirus crisis, he decided to switch to delivery, which he had never done before. He said it would be safer to be in contact with less people in his car, but he also predicted a decrease in the need for rideshares and higher need for delivery.
According to “The Rideshare Guy,” a blog for drivers, 81 percent of rideshare drivers say they have seen a decrease in demand.
“Ridership is down, because people are staying home. I am very grateful to be working for the time being,” said Howard.
Howard is grateful because he now lives in a one income household. His wife worked at a restaurant that didn’t rely on delivery or takeout, so she has been laid off.
Even though his current pickup is from a national chain, he hopes the community continues to support small businesses and order local.
“This is providing a much-needed service not only for the people who are getting the food, but also keeping the restaurants open right now. Certainly, it’s a way for me to stay working, but it’s also a win-win for everyone,” said Howard.
As he finishes his delivery, he is appreciative of this new way to bring in an income, while feeling he’s doing his part to keep the economy moving during this time.