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How Austin Can Help Support Local Restaurants Impacted by Coronavirus

Big and small ways to help keep Austin restaurants, bars, and food trucks going

Last Straw
Last Straw
Courtney Pierce/EATX
Erin Russell is associate editor of Eater Austin, a native Austinite, and a big fan of carbs.

The government-mandated suspension of dine-in restaurants in Austin due to the COVID-19 pandemic, combined with loss of income from the canceled South by Southwest (SXSW) festival means local restaurants have been hit hard. However, in the face of these challenges (loss of income, salaries and wages, health insurance, food waste, etc.), there are many ways Austinites and the like can support these businesses.

In addition to ordering takeout/delivery, buying merchandise/gift cards from various businesses, and most importantly, calling your representative for a restaurant bailout, here are some ways to help the Austin restaurant industry. Let us know through the tipline if there are other support efforts not listed here.

*Please note that while the fundraisers and Venmo accounts listed below have all been shared by the official social media pages or known representatives of respective restaurants, Eater cannot guarantee that each restaurant will use the money as they say they will.*



Crowdfunding Campaigns & Venmos

CSAs & Membership Programs


  • The Service Industry Tip Jar picks a random server affected by the layoffs and encourages people to leave a tip every time they sit down for a drink at home.
  • North Lamar Korean restaurant Seoulju put together this handy bingo card highlighting local restaurants, with a heavy Asian emphasis.
  • Remember: merchandise and gift cards are always great options.

For Service Workers and Operators

  • Travis County announced programs to help businesses and individuals affected by the quarantine, including the Texas Workforce Commission for unemployment benefits for those who have been laid off or furloughed.
  • The City of Austin set up the Emergency Food Systems Exchange, where people and companies looking for food or looking to provide food, among other goods and support, can connect.
  • There’s a running Google spreadsheet of Venmos and Paypals of service industry folk who’ve been furloughed or let go by their places of employment.
  • There’s a GoFundMe seeking money to be used to purchase restaurant gift cards, which will be donated to health care workers. The first partnering restaurant is Sala & Betty.
  • Provecho is a local Mexican pop-up run by Wes Bracamontes and Ame Arguindegui that is hosting a free industry lunch with tempeh pambazo sandwiches on Wednesday, March 18. Message @provecho.atx on Instagram for more info.
  • Tso Chinese: The delivery service is offering a free meal to those in need. Details here.
  • Kick Butt Coffee is giving free coffee to those who were laid off.
  • Austin chain Mighty Fine Burgers is giving away free meals to health care workers and first responders on Saturday and Sunday, March 21 and 22, from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.
  • Online ordering system Toast is offering restaurants a free three-month subscription as they figure out carryout and delivery options.
  • The best grocery store H-E-B made a $3 million donation to help with coronavirus aid. The grocery store is also hiring workers for its warehouses.
  • Oak Hill bar Detours is donating ten percent of all sales to the Central Texas Food Bank.