by Lizzie Moody
As I watched the live map of the spread of COVID-19 and even after I read the email saying that St. Mary’s would be closed for a while, I was not thinking about the effect of this virus on our Memphis community. Instead, I thought about the pros and cons of online school such as sleeping in later but also not seeing my friends every day. As a Memphian and St. Mary’s girl, I have a big appreciation for good food. Although coronavirus has impacted my day-to-day activities, its effect on local Memphis restaurants is far greater.
Memphis’ local restaurants are what make our food scene so eclectic. In fact, when many people think of the best things about Memphis, they think of our food. However, these local restaurants and their workers are suffering from a major drop in business because of the pandemic. Now it is more important than ever to keep supporting our favorite local restaurants so that they can keep serving our city. Some easy ways to help these restaurants right now is to order curbside pickup, takeout or delivery; buy gift cards or merchandise; and tip generously.
While Memphians are fighting to keep our special restaurants open, here are some popular local restaurants that are also making an effort to support their employees and healthcare workers. By supporting these local restaurants and many others, we are also supporting our larger Memphis community during this difficult time.
Huey’s is one of Memphis’ most popular restaurants for many reasons: eating the delicious cheese fries, shooting toothpicks into the ceiling, rooting on the sports teams on the TVs, or having the waiters call customers by name. Not only should we support Huey’s right now because their food is amazing, but they are also making sure to take great care of their employees. Huey’s has promised to pay all of their almost 600 workers their full wages and has not laid off any workers. In addition, Huey’s makes sure the employees receive the amount of money they normally make from tips by paying them the difference. They are also writing encouraging and funny messages on the outside of their to-go containers as a small act of kindness to brighten customers’ days.
City Silo is my most visited restaurant in Memphis because of their delicious, but also healthy food that is not served in any other Memphis restaurant. Last Monday on one of my frequent City Silo runs, I learned that they were having Smoothie Match Monday. On this day, for every smoothie that was purchased, City Silo made and delivered one to healthcare workers which was a great way for them to show support to the brave people working in the medical field in these difficult times.
Germantown Nutrition Hub
Germantown Nutrition Hub, a popular place for protein shakes and energy teas, started the Pay it Forward Project. One-hundred percent of these donations from the project is dedicated to giving energizing shakes and teas to healthcare workers. When they started this project, the goal was to provide more than 200 shakes and teas to the Memphis community which they are continuing to work towards every day.
Through this time of uncertainty about coronavirus and the future, it can be easy to focus on ourselves, especially the people and events we are missing. However, as many local Memphis restaurants are showing, it is also important to help out our community because the only way we are going to get through this is together. So, use this as an excuse to go to your favorite local Memphis restaurant and pick up some food. You are not only helping yourself but also helping out our local restaurants which benefits the Memphis community.