The Boston Globe has launched Project Takeout in an effort to save independent restaurants, many of which are teetering between survival and closing their doors for good. The pandemic has forced limited seating capacity for customers willing to eat indoors, and with winter upon us, outdoor dining is not a viable option for many. Project Takeout is urging Bostonians to do their part in helping these businesses make it a little while longer until warmer weather brings more outdoor dining and to the vaccine’s full rollout.
Visit BostonGlobe.com/Project-Takeout/ for restaurant news and an interactive map of favorite places for takeout food. Order takeout, post a photo of your order on social media with #ProjectTakeout and tag the restaurant. Other tips include:
Skip ordering apps and call a restaurant directly. Apps charge unmanageable rates for independent operators and do not always have a reliable menu. Go to the restaurant’s website for accurate menus. Many restaurants allow diners to schedule orders days ahead of time which gives the restaurant more time to plan.
Wear a mask at the door. Better yet, leave a note for contactless drop-off or make clear that a delivery person can put food in your mailbox, so he or she does not have to get out of the car. To make the experience even more contact-free, pay in advance, either over the phone or online.
Shovel your driveway and salt your walkways. This is especially important during bad Boston weather. Make sure your entryway is well-lit and that your home street number is easily visible, too.
Tip properly. “These are people who are trying to make a living and go home to families during one of the hardest years in history. It’s so important that we’re respectful and show gratitude,” says Myka Meier, etiquette trainer and author of Modern Etiquette Made Easy. Meier advises nothing less than $2 (even if your meal is cheap) and incrementally more depending on the cost of the order, between 15 to 20 percent. “If it’s really bad weather, 20 percent is important,” she says. This is true even if you’re using a delivery app that charges a fee. It’s not the same as tipping the driver. Tip for curbside pickup, too. Meier recommends 10 percent.
Be patient. Waiting for food when dining on-premise happens, so it may occur with takeout food, too. Be patient and understanding and know that the kitchen staff is doing its best to get everyone’s order correct and on time. And if it isn’t? “Now is the time to show grace,” Meier says.
For more information, visit BostonGlobe.com/Project-Takeout.