By Jennifer Leale, Tallahassee Foodies
Undoubtedly, our Capital City is enduring challenging times, and months into a global pandemic, we are still pivoting our daily lives to overcome obstacles. One industry that has faced many challenges, often switching up their entire processes at a moment’s notice, is our beloved restaurants, bars and eateries. A couple of silver lining moments to this dark cloud are creative innovations that we all hope will stick around, as well as the Tallahassee community eagerly seeking info on how they can support our local restaurants.
In March, when dining was first shut down, we talked to a couple of restaurant owners here in town who reported a day of sales totaling under $20! At the same time, Tallahassee Foodies, our Facebook Group, started seeing spikes in membership requests, as well activity soaring to 147,000 engagements in 28 days! Our community was eager to find out how they could help and we wanted to convert that sentiment into action, so we came up with a “Small Business Saturday meets takeout” initiative. We pitched this to a few owners, they had the idea to offer an incentive per purchase, named it Rally for Tally, and all of a sudden to-go orders had phones ringing off the hook! Over 80 restaurants participated, all reporting a massive increase in sales.
Due to the Rally’s success, we followed it with Take-Out BINGO in April and a second Rally for Tally in June. Beyond our group’s initiatives, our local food professionals have thrown out some brilliant product and service additions that were welcomed with much success. Family meals, to-go cocktails (let’s hope permits allow those to stick around for a bit), donut decorating kits, take-and-bake pizzas (freeing up bottleneck oven space leading to huge sales), and virtual cooking classes from the comfort of our own homes are all innovations we hope will stick around.
This is far from over and restaurants still need our help! Be sure to join our Facebook Group, Tallahassee Foodies, and sign up for our newsletter at www.tallahasseefoodies.com to stay informed on the current state of our Big Bend area restaurants.