Tips for supporting Ann Arbor area restaurants amid coronavirus closures

A food takeout box.
A food takeout box. (WDIV)

ANN ARBOR, Mich. – With Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s Monday morning order that all bars and restaurants cease dine-in options, restaurants around Ann Arbor are feeling the effects of social distancing, lowered foot traffic and fewer hungry eaters.

Read: Michigan governor shuts down bars, restaurants dine-in service amid COVID-19 outbreak

Help keep your favorite eateries, bars and restaurant staff afloat during hard times with these tips.

Order to-go

Many Ann Arbor eateries are known for their ambiance and atmosphere (and their food), but with no option for dine-in eaters, restaurants suffer. To mitigate this, many have started offering their mouthwatering meals to-go. Call ahead to your favorite restaurant, place your order and ask them to wrap it “to-go.”

Some restaurants even offer curbside service (you don’t even have to leave your car!)

Bring the restaurant experience home with you by picking up your breakfast, lunch or dinner.

Tip generously

As you pick up your to-go meal, give your “would-have-been” server a generous tip. Fewer people in restaurants means fewer tips, which some in the foodservice industry rely on. They may not be serving you now, but you want them to be able to serve you later.

Try tipping online. Ever order your coffee, then feel terrible for not having an extra buck for the barista? It happens to the best of us but you can make it up by tipping your baristas online. Having shuttered the doors to both its bookstore and cafe indefinitely, Literati set up an online donation space for its baristas and cafe staff.

No online tip option? Call your favorite cafe to figure out how to support them.

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Gift Cards

Buy gift cards now and use them later. Support local chefs, servers and restaurateurs through buying gift cards to your favorite eatery now. Redeem them later once things have calmed down and after restaurants are able to return to full capacity.

Don’t want to go into a cafe to buy a gift card? Buy a digital gift card online.


Simply donate to support your favorite eatery. Whether it’s the amount you would have spent on a meal or on a few, donating directly to restaurants helps them and their staff. Alternatively, donate directly to those you know working in the foodservice industry.

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