A new website launched by Utah County and Explore Utah Valley helps residents know which restaurants are still open and are offering delivery, pickup or curbside service during the coronavirus pandemic.
In a written statement on Wednesday, Utah County Commissioners Tanner Ainge, Bill Lee and Nathan Ivie and Explore Utah Valley President and CEO Joel Racker said the site “is intended to support the most economically vulnerable in the community while maintaining safe social health standards.”
Ainge said in an interview that the website, http://dineutahvalley.com, is part of a countywide campaign to encourage residents to support local businesses and their employees who have been impacted by the coronavirus pandemic.
“This (the pandemic) is going to be absolutely devastating to our restaurant and our hotel communities, and especially to their hourly staff, to the point where many will have to close,” Ainge said.
Other than listing which restaurants are offering delivery or curbside services, Ainge said the website features businesses that are offering deals or have otherwise taken efforts to support the community.
For example, the website highlights Malawi’s Pizza in Provo for offering a “Family Fun Pizza Kit” and Green Panda Cafe, also in Provo, for providing free delivery on orders over $20 within a 3-mile radius.
“Right now, this is just a forum that we are promoting to showcase the deals that the restaurants themselves are offering,” said Ainge, adding that the county would consider taking additional measures if the pandemic worsens.
In the written statement, the commissioners and Explore Utah Valley CEO praised Utah County-based businesses “who took immediate action to tackle community challenge.”
“Whether it’s Fat Daddy’s Pizzeria offering free lunch to school aged kids, software companies like Podium offering a free service to assist restaurants or R&R Barbeque, Mo Bettah(s), and Costa Vida making dinner relief packs available at a special price, we are inspired by the collective heart of Utah County,” the statement said.
The website features Instagram posts of food from local restaurants and encourages patrons to post pictures of their meals using the hashtags #TakeOutCorona and #DineUtahValley.
Ainge said he hoped the $2 trillion emergency stimulus package being considered by the federal government would help prevent restaurant closures in the county and help hourly workers who have been laid off, fired or had their hours cut.
“But we want to do our part locally at the county and with Explore Utah Valley to also try to give them a little bit of a boost during this critical time,” said Ainge.
Ainge said Utah County residents should do their part to support restaurants and hotels, which help pay for parks, trails and cultural programs in the county, as well as the Provo Municipal Airport, through the Tourism, Recreation, Cultural and Convention (TRCC) tax fund and Transient Room Tax (TRT).
“The local restaurant community is an establishment here,” the commissioner said, “and we don’t want to see any of them go.”
Local businesses can request to be featured on the website by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.