As the coronavirus crisis continues, many bars and restaurants are reeling from the short-term effects on business, and they are anxious about the potential for long-term impact. As you continue to take care of yourself, consider a few ways to help our local restaurants by dining at a distance during this COVID-19 crisis.

Support our East Cobb restaurants while practicing social distancing by using the EAST COBBER annual Dining Guide. The Dining Guide is a great way to locate the East Cobb restaurants that are open for take-out, curbside pickup and/or delivery during the “COVID lockdown” of East Cobb.

Online delivery services are getting on board with no-contact delivery policies. GrubHub announced that it has suspended commission fees for independent restaurants, up to $100 million.

Leave cash at home. Paper money is gross. Use an alternative form of payment. Order online and pay with your credit card to minimize handling check presenters and pens. In-person, ask a restaurant or store if you can read your credit card number to them verbally, or even use your phone to pay.

Support local restaurants right now, even if you don’t want to leave your house, by purchasing a gift card over the phone or through a restaurant’s website. While buying gift cards doesn’t necessarily put money in the pockets of servers and bartenders, it does help the businesses make it through this uncertain time.

Tip well. Always, but especially now.

Be patient with slower service. It might be due to understaffing caused by efforts to keep you safe.

If you are working in an office, consider ordering in lunch from an area restaurant.

Offer assistance to those at-risk. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) considers the elderly and people with chronic conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, and lung disease to be at higher risk. If you’re in a lower-risk group, reach out to your higher-risk community members and ask them how you can help.

We’re all in this together, and our local restaurants need your support.