Mindhandle launched #TeamUp4TakeOut at the onset of COVID-19 as our pledge of patronage during the pandemic. It was our Dallas-based advertising agency’s way of supporting our roster of global restaurant clients, and local faves, by ordering takeout at least four times a week.
Texas restaurants are an important part of the state’s economy.
Texas restaurants generated $70.6 billion in sales last year, and employed 10% of the state’s population – making it the second largest industry in the Lone Star State.
Of those 1.4 million Texas restaurant industry workers, the Texas Restaurant Association reports there are 250,000 restaurant employees in Dallas County alone. These are the servers, cooks, bartenders, runners, bussers, hosts and managers who take care of us as we enjoy our favorite local fare.
COVID-19 was a crushing blow to Texas restaurants.
With the onset of COVID-19 in early spring, Texas restaurants lost all dine-in capacity, leaving restaurant employees in a grave state of uncertainty. Would they take a pay cut, or have reduced hours? Would they even have a job? Would their restaurant go out of business entirely? The TRA estimated upwards of 500,000 employees would lose their jobs by the end of spring.
An estimated 25% to 30% of Texas restaurants will close permanently from the impact of the pandemic.
So our agency pitched in to help out.
Takeout became the only real source of income for restaurants and employees, which is why #TeamUp4TakeOut was created. It was our advertising agency’s opportunity to serve those who serve us.
“#TeamUp4TakeOut was our agency’s way of stepping up and doing something magnetic here in our own backyard” – Eric Harris, MindHandle CEO
We’re on the road to recovery.
Fast forward to Friday, June 12. As part of Phase 3 of the “Open Texas Plan” Governor Abbott permitted restaurants to re-open at 75% capacity, becoming the first industry to reach this milestone. The Texas Restaurant Association responded to the news.
“We know restaurants and bars still have a long and uncertain path towards recovery, but today’s announcement brings us one step closer to our shared goal of rebuilding our economy while keeping employees and customers safe,” said Dr. Emily Williams Knight, President and CEO of TRA.
During the 12 weeks of #TeamUp4TakeOut, MindHandle employees visited 54 different restaurants, averaging 4.5 per week. Restaurants included our clients Chili’s Grill & Bar, Fish City Grill, On the Border and Raising Cane’s Chicken Fingers.
Of the 54 restaurants supported, 12 different companies actually thanked the agency via social media. Those were: Snappy Salads, Roots Chicken Shak, Raising Cane’s, Norma’s Café, Chili’s, Schlotzsky’s, Campisi’s, Favor, Mooyah, Fish City Grill, Mi Dia, and the national initiative The Great American Take Out.
“There are 49,666 eating and drinking establishments in the state of Texas that needed help,” says Eric Harris, CEO Of MindHandle. “#TeamUp4TakeOut was our agency’s way of stepping up and doing something magnetic here in our own backyard.”
It’s on us to keep helping.
Even with the help of loyal patrons and the lessening of state restrictions, the TRA still predicts 25% to 30% of Texas restaurants will close permanently from the impact of the pandemic. Of those who remain open, 60% of operators polled say it's unlikely their restaurant will be profitable in the next six months. So it’s important we all continue to do our past in supporting local restaurants we love through dine in, gift cards, delivery and, of course, take out.
#TeamUp4TakeOut recap video