ROSSLYN, VA — In an effort to get Arlington residents to patronize area restaurants hit hard by the coronavirus crisis, the Rosslyn Business Improvement District (BID) recently launched a directory highlighting the operating status of area eateries.
The Rosslyn BID is not just sharing a comprehensive list of Rosslyn restaurants that describes which are open for delivery or carryout, it's also created a social media initiative to reward diners and the restaurants they order food from.
"When you order from a Rosslyn restaurant and you share your meal online with the hashtag #RosslynReward, you also tag the participating restaurant," said Mary-Claire Burick, president of the Rosslyn BID. "You're going to get a $10 reward for every $20 that you spend."
Diners can either redeem that as a gift card from the restaurant or they can opt to have Rosslyn BID donate the amount back to the restaurant as a way to help support them through the coronavirus crisis.
On Monday, Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam issued an executive order requiring restaurants to remain open only for carryout, curbside and delivery. Restaurants can no longer keep their dining areas open, even if they adhere to the previously mandated 10-person mandate.
"One of the things that I do think is great to see is watching how a lot of our Rosslyn restaurants who maybe weren't even set up to do take-out or delivery, have quickly pivoted to meet the need and keep our community fed, and doing so in a way that's safe and compliant with all the regulations around," Burick said.
Even though local restaurants and other parts of the service industry, like physical therapists and dentists, are struggling Burick sees many positives things still going on.
"A lot of our restaurants even though they're really hurting right now, a lot of them are actually giving back to the community," she said. "So some of them are giving away a free meal a day to a senior or to a first responder, or they're setting up funds for their employees. We just thought this is a really nice way to support the restaurant, support the diner, and make sure that they're getting along OK and getting rewarded for ordering, but then also giving that diner that option if they want to donate it back, then they can do so."
The Rosslyn BID is also highlighting many of the local businesses that have reached out to help the community on its website, including:
Anytime Fitness is offering free Home Build and Home Burn workouts on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, nutrition guides on Tuesdays and lifestyle advice on Thursdays.
District Taco is providing paid sick leave for all salaried and hourly employees and are assessing ways to extend coverage while many teammates are in need. District Taco has also expanded its free employee meal plan so staff can provide food for their families.
Jimmy Johns is delivering a free meal to a homebound senior in the community. Those with a family member or someone who could use a free meal can send their name, address, and food preferences to firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line "SENIOR MEAL". In addition, Jimmy Johns is also giving away day-old bread for free every day, limited to 1-2 loaves per family. This is a first come, first serve offer. No purchase is necessary.
Sfoglina - Sfloglina’s is working to establish an employee relief fund, which will be available to employees that may be facing a personal crisis, such as an inability to pay for food or medicine. Anyone interested in making a donation can email email@example.com.
South Block Juice - All of South Block’s gift card sales will go to help our employees who have been affected by recent industry hardships.
Thai Select is providing meals for families in need daily between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. Meals will be available, packed and ready in a warmer box, in the front of our restaurant.