A new initiative from Virginia tourism officials aims to provide temporary relief to locally owned restaurants hit hard by the coronavirus outbreak.
March 30 to April 5 is Virginia Is for Restaurant Lovers Takeout Week. Virginians are encouraged to order takeout, delivery or curbside pickup from local restaurants and to use the hashtag #VirginiaEatsLocal to spread the word.
"Virginia's restaurant industry has been hit especially hard during this time," Eric Terry, president of the Virginia Restaurant, Lodging, and Travel Association, said in a statement. "Restaurants are so vital to our economy and we encourage those who can afford to do so, to continue to help out these establishments that have helped to put Virginia on the map."
All of Virginia’s more than 14,000 restaurants were forced to close their dining rooms after the virus started spreading in the state, affecting the more than 378,000 restaurant workers across Virginia — 9% of the total workforce in the state, according to VRLTA.
The Virginia Tourism Corporation is selling limited-edition Virginia is for Restaurant Lovers T-shirts, aprons, hats and stickers, with a portion of the proceeds going to the relief effort for restaurant employees and owners.
Visit virginiaisforrestaurantlovers.com to learn about ways to support restaurants and food service workers in your area.