FOOD: DineOutNYC – Why You Should Do It!

[Image from DineOutNYC]

It’s been a little over a week since Sandy hit, but we’re still reeling from everything that’s happened, and we probably will be for a while.  I highly encourage everyone to devote at least a portion of their time to volunteering, or donate food and other goods to the places that need it most – we’ve got a preliminary guide on how you can help.  Of course, we have to keep in mind that a lot of people are having problems getting to the areas hit the hardest, especially with the gas and subway issues…and let’s be honest, some people just aren’t the volunteering type.

However, there is one simple thing that anyone can do: go out to eat, and you automatically take part in DineOutNYC.

Why dine out?  NYC restaurants, especially those in downtown Manhattan and other low-lying areas of the city, were hit extremely hard because of the hurricane, and though they may have reopened their doors now that electricity’s back, they may be feeling the effects of Sandy in the near future.  All food had to be thrown out and replaced, repairs had to be covered, and these establishments lost a lot of business by not being open for a few days.  That, combined with the fixed costs of utilities and rent, isn’t looking good.  I can’t even begin to think about the repairs and other troubles the owners may have seen to their own homes, which just adds to their costs.  Unfortunately, it wouldn’t be surprising if many restaurants in NYC had to shut their doors due to Sandy alone.

If you hop on Twitter and search for #dineoutNYC and you’ll find a plethora of foodies, including Anthony Bourdain, Dana Cowin, Kat Kinsman, and Francis Lam, among many, many others, encouraging people to dine out and support the NYC dining scene.

How to participate?  Go downtown, or to Brooklyn, or Staten Island, pick a restaurant, and eat.  Easy.  There has never been more of an opportunity to try out that place you’ve been eyeing, or continue to patronize your favorite spot and give the owners and servers some encouragement.  Need a reason to get a group of friends together, or to take a special someone out on a dinner date?  Here it is!  Get a drink with your meal, order appetizers, get dessert.  The best way for you to help out is to explore new cuisines, and treat yourself to something tasty – do you really need more convincing?

Make sure you generously tip your servers, and if you can, send some extra money back to the dishwasher – when their restaurants don’t get business, they don’t get tips, so they’ve been missing out, also.  Bars are feeling the effects too, so if anyone is looking for an excuse to drink… do it (and do it often)!

Eater has compiled a great list of eateries that are donating portions of their proceeds to Sandy relief, but you should also explore options not on the list.  Don’t forget to hashtag your tweets about your meals and drinks with #DineOutNYC, #EatDownTipUp, or #EatDowntown!