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‘Great American Takeout’ campaign aims to help local restaurants during COVID-19 outbreak

Customers are then asked to share their meals on social media using #GreatAmericanTakeout.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – In an effort to help restaurants and eateries in the United States survive as tight restrictions to stop the spread of COVID-19 take hold, the coalition of national and regional eateries is backing a new campaign called the “Great American Takeout.”

On Tuesday, March 24, Americans were encouraged to order at least one delivery or pick-up meal to support dine-in restaurant operations that were forced to close to help stop the spread of the virus.

“This is no longer about the survival of individual restaurants,” Russ Bendel, Habit Restaurants CEO, said in a statement. “It’s about the future of our industry. And time has run out. Together, we must act to support each other and our communities in unprecedented ways.”

Customers were asked to share their meals on social media using #TheGreatAmericanTakeout.

Coalition brands include California Pizza Kitchen, Chevys Fresh Mex, El Torito, The Habit Restaurants Inc., Jason’s Deli, Lemonade, Modern Market, Noodles & Company, Panera Bread and Veggie Grill.

Joseph’s Pizza on Jacksonville’s Northside is still open for deliver and take-out orders, like many spots.

“My philosophy is if I can just make enough in a week to be able to keep my employees paid in bills paid, that is fine,” said Susie Bateh, the co-owner of Joseph’s Pizza.

Tasty’s employees in Nassau County and Southeast Georgia joined in on the campaign ordering their lunches from other local eateries

At J Lemon Pepper on Main Street, customers were out showing their support and keeping staff busy behind the scenes. Nehad Hemaid, the owner, said he’s doing his best to keep the business up and running.

“Fresh food, good price,” he said. “I’m going to try.”