A Love Letter to Restaurants

Dear Chefs, Cooks, Front and Back of House and all Hospitality Workers… 

This is for you. 

You’ve always been creative. We’ve seen it and admired it for years. From the flavors on the plate to making the most out of your kitchen food scraps, you’re always thinking outside of the box. This year, however, required your creativity on a whole different level. You built online ordering systems overnight, crafted cocktails to-go the minute it became legal, and found a way to serve fine dining meals in compostable containers. No one could have predicted the changes you’d endure and the solutions you’d have to create.

If anyone could do it though, it’s you.

You are brave pioneers, strong and gritty and immensely capable. Challenges presented themselves on a daily basis, well before the pandemic. When the change to 50% capacity meant accommodating bustling outdoor “dining rooms” while also managing new take-out systems, you met this challenge head on. You were put in charge of keeping people safe, well-fed, calm and entertained all at once — like a security guard, personal chef, therapist and entertainer in one overworked body. 

We want you to know that you are appreciated. 

It’s likely that you haven’t felt this way every moment of every day during the last year, but I know we’re not the only ones who would tell you. Those famous nachos to-go, that morning cup of coffee, the smile in your eyes behind a masked face we recognize; it all contributed to a little bit of normalcy and comfort during this crazy year. 

That is why we want you to know that we’re committed. This winter, next season and beyond, we’re committed to support you. We will buy local and spend our own dollars, however limited, with you. Because you showed up for us, for this community, and now we want to show up for you. 

We will tell our friends about you on social media, shouting our love from the figurative rooftops. 
We will sign our support for more relief funding efforts, to make sure our leaders value you too. 
We will grab take-out once a week, because you know we’re tired of cooking all the time. 
We will leave you a five star review, on Google or Yelp or Facebook, anywhere people might notice.
We will purchase cocktails to-go and drop them off at our friends’ doorstep, to feel a little bit more social.
We will buy a gift card now, and dine with you in person later, so you can stay healthy too. 

They say there’s a chance that 25% of all Michigan restaurants won’t be in business in six months. We won’t sit idly by and let that happen. Our mission has always been to encourage consumers to value small businesses with their dollars. And we will continue to do everything in our power to keep Michigan’s local culture alive. 

Forever yours, TLD