TODAY, we are launching a passionate plea to every reader this lockdown – buy a takeaway.
With local businesses having to close their doors again and people being asked to stay at home, trade will be suffering. Which is why we are launching Take Out To Help Out.
It’s really simple: while it is impossible to go out for a sit-down meal, many of our pubs, cafes, takeaways and restaurants have switched to delivery or click and collect services, using covid-safe measures. We want you to use them.
By ordering now, it means that our favourite companies can still serve up tasty treats. Every meal bought helps keep the local economy afloat, and will ensure that when the Covid-19 pandemic is over our favourite places will still be able to serve us.
Rural Pie Co. is just one of the many local businesses which rely on the community for support.
“It’s those people who come in and buy from us that keeps us going and means we can be here on the other side of the pandemic,” said Amy McCarthy, co-founder of the Twyford-based eatery.
“It’s really easy to order from us too. We do deliveries which you can order online, you can ring up to, or you can come straight into the shop to get pies at a safe distance.”
Ms McCarthy says that when people choose to get a takeaway from a small business, they actually help a whole host of local suppliers at the same time.
“Our meat comes locally, our coffee is local, all of our beers are local,” she explained.
“By ordering from us, if you decide to have a bottle or wine or a beer, you’re supporting other local businesses too.”
This plea has been echoed by takeaways across Wokingham borough, including Woksta in Twyford, which said the pandemic forced it to find new ways to serve customers.
“In our bid to survive, we converted our online store into a website, and it has played a pivotal role allowing us to stay afloat,” a spokesperson said.
“Thank you Twyford.”
And La’De Kitchen, in Woodley, says it is also grateful for the support of the community so far and is backing the Take Out To Help Out campaign.
“The hospitality industry has been one of the hardest hit in this pandemic and your continued support is greatly appreciated,” it said.
A number of MPs have also announced they are supporting the initiative to get the local economy booming again.
Wokingham MP Sir John Redwood is encouraging everybody to use local shops and services in any permitted way.
“We want our local businesses to survive the pandemic and to flourish when the controls are lifted,” he said.
“The best means by which we can help them is to use them in socially distanced ways.”
Bracknell MP James Sunderland added: “‘I am absolutely delighted to support this. Pubs, cafes, restaurants and takeaways are the lifeblood of our economy and they employ many local people.
“Trading conditions have been brutal since the start of the pandemic and it is right that we should do everything possible to keep them afloat so please do get behind this super initiative.
“I’m personally partial to a spicy curry but anything local is good.”
Colin George, from the Wokingham Business Association, was also keen for residents to get behind the campaign.
“This is a fantastic thing to help small traders,” he said. “It’s a great way to support our local businesses at this time.
“Plenty of people are offering delivery, everyone has stepped up to the mark, I can even get a kebab delivered.
“Don’t forget, you have to pre-order by telephone, email or text before collecting.”
He encouraged the ordering of deliveries rather than click and collect in a bid to cut down unnecessary journeys during lockdown, saying that he’d had takeaways left in a Covid-safe way on his doorstep.
“It works well,” he said.
Brian Fennelly, Woodley town centre manager, added that it is clearly a very challenging time for all businesses.
He said: “We have some great restaurants and cafes in Woodley offering a takeout service during the lockdown.
“Take Out To Help Out is a great promotion that will be welcomed by customers and businesses alike.”