A Costco warehouse in Virginia is lending a helping hand to its local restaurant partners that are trying to ensure viability while having to operate in a limited capacity due to COVID-19-related restrictions.
The Costco Connoisseur, an Instagram account with more than 31,000 followers and nearly 3,000 posts dedicated to the wholesale retailer and its products, posted an image Monday illustrating how the warehouse is suggesting its members order from its local restaurant partners.
Small business owners, especially within the hospitality industry, have suffered greatly since the outbreak of the virus. With lockdown orders in place, some eateries were forced to transition to delivery and takeout options only, while others had to temporarily close in order to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.
The National Restaurant Association estimated that 8 million restaurant employees have been laid off or furloughed since the beginning of the coronavirus-related closures. Meanwhile, the entire industry lost more than $30 billion in March alone, a time when the pandemic was quickly sweeping across the country, with billions more in losses to follow.
Although it's not business as usual, many restaurants are still trying to offer limited services.
To help, Costco posted signs inside the store where it listed five local eateries alongside information on how to place orders for pick-up, curbside or delivery services.
"Way to look out for the little guys and local businesses Costco!!" the post read.
At the bottom of the sign, Costco said the store is no longer selling discounted restaurant cards.
"The restaurant will receive the greatest benefit when you pay directly when your order is placed," the sign read.
Virginia began the first phase of a gradual reopening plan in May after months of being largely shut down due to the pandemic.
Under phase one, restaurants are still limited to takeout and curbside delivery only. However, if the business already has an outdoor seating permit, it can open outdoor seating at 50 percent capacity.