As our community, state, nation, and world face the current pandemic, I feel we must all focus on our local communities and work together to get through this. I am sure whatever your business, you are being affected by this crisis and it is my hope that we all see relief soon.

As COO of the Eat With Us Group, I feel compelled to speak for the restaurant industry. The COVID-19 crisis is very real, and it is important you understand supporting your local restaurants through this time benefits not just the restaurants, but our entire communities. Restaurants are some of the most philanthropic businesses in Mississippi. Whether providing food during a natural disaster or raising funds for someone in the community battling an illness, restaurants are the first to step up. The resources we have access to during the good times afford us this opportunity.

By choosing to order take out from your local restaurants, you are contributing towards keeping restaurant employees working and earning income. Health department regulations have never been higher. Our managers, chefs and key hourly employees understand what it takes to keep our restaurants safe, healthy, and clean. The restaurateurs in our community and state, have worked tirelessly to find ways to support our employees as well as the people that count on our restaurants every day. There are over 121,900 restaurant jobs in Mississippi, representing 10% of the workforce, but unfortunately many are having to be laid off. There are also many more thousands that work to support and service restaurants such as food suppliers, farmers, janitorial businesses, and linen providers just to name a few. Unfortunately, as a result of the understandable restrictions on in-dining, many of these employees have had to be laid off also.

Again, I urge you to order takeout from your favorite local restaurants as much as you can. We hope your meal will bring a little joy to you and make you realize you have helped sustain the well-being of the Mississippi restaurant industry for the future!

Bernard Bean

Tupelo

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