Durham businesses embrace ‘National Take-Out Day’ aimed at helping restaurants during pandemic


DURHAM, N.C. (WNCN) – The recent coronavirus outbreak has many restaurants struggling to stay afloat as they have all been forced to limit their services to takeout and delivery.

In the midst of the recent outbreak, restaurant coalitions across the country are calling March 24 National Take-Out Day. On this day, consumers are encouraged to order take out and support their local restaurants.

Kelli Cotter owns Toast in downtown Durham. She said her business has gone down 50 percent since they have been forced to do take out orders only.

“I’m trying to be optimistic, but it’s all so bizarre,” Cotter said. “It’s a crazy thing to get used to.”

Cotter has added a table outside of her restaurant so they can do a “no-touch” pick up.

She said she has been forced to let three employees go at Toast. Her other restaurant, Dashi, has been forced to close completely. She said that closure has put 40 employees out of work.

“It’s heart-wrenching,” Cotter said.

Discover Durham is doing what it can to get the word out about it being National Take-Out Day. It compiled a list of 200 restaurants offering take-out and delivery services.

The City of Durham has also converted on-street metered parking spaces into curbside delivery zones to make it easier for customers to pick up their orders.

Cotter said she is hoping that National Take-Out Day will help business, even if it is only for a day.

“I wish every day were National Take-Out Day,” Cotter said.

Click here for the list of businesses in Durham open for take-out and delivery.

COVID-19 timeline

  • March 3: NCDHHS announces state’s first COVID-19 case
  • March 10: Gov. Roy Cooper declares State of Emergency
  • March 11: World Health Organization declares COVID-19 a pandemic
  • March 13: President Donald Trump declares a National Emergency
  • March 14: Cooper issues Executive Order 117 closing K-12 public schools until at least March 30 and banning gatherings of more than 100 people
  • March 16: NCDHHS recommends no mass gatherings for more than 50 people
  • March 17: Cooper issues Executive Order 118 limiting operations of restaurants and bars, and broadening unemployment insurance benefits
  • March 23: Cooper issues Executive Order 120 which closes public K-12 schools through May 15 and orders businesses such as barbershops and salons to close.
  • March 25: North Carolina reports its first coronavirus-related deaths
  • March 29: Trump extends social distancing orders through the end of April
  • March 31: Cooper signs Executive Order 124 which prohibits utilities from disconnecting people who are unable to pay during the pandemic.
  • April 7: Cooper will sign executive orders limiting customers in retailers and offers child care assistance to certain workers
  • April 14: Coronavirus-related deaths top 100 in North Carolina
  • April 24: Cooper extends stay-at-home order to May 8
  • May 5: Cooper announces Phase One of reopening will being May 8

More COVID-19 coverage:

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