Messages promoting restaurant takeout orders have swept the country during the shuttering of restaurant dining rooms. Already reaching more than 117 million people nationwide, The Great American Takeout marketing campaign uses social media to spread the word. Promoters encourage Americans to order takeout, snap photos and then post them on Twitter with #TheGreatAmericanTakeout and @TheGATakeout for chances to win prizes. On Instagram, users tag photos with @thegreatamericantakeout. Weekly restaurant takeout campaigns have included “Picnic at Home,” “Order In for a Chance to Win” and “Takeout Tuesday.”
Each week, different sponsors such as Hidden Valley Ranch and Ventura Foods give away prizes like $50 gift cards for winners to use for their next takeout meals. Pepsi, Coke and Tyson are among the companies that sponsor The Great American Takeout, a program developed and executed by Los Angeles advertising agency High Wide & Handsome. As of April 20, The Great American Takeout raised $260,000 for charities that support restaurant employees and their children.
“We are proud to partner with #TheGreatAmericanTakeout to support the estimated 15 million Americans who rely on the restaurant industry to provide income in this challenging time,” said Hidden Valley Kitchens Foodservice Sales Director Chris Klimas in a press release. “Please show your support for your favorite local restaurant by ordering takeout via delivery or pickup, with or without a side of Ranch!”
Local restaurant employees like Kass Kral of Agee’s Barbecue Market in Munds Park pivot with the changes. “Every day at the BBQ presents a new challenge in keeping things efficient and fun but also safe for our staff and community. We never planned on being a takeout restaurant – our whole identity is family, comfort food and socializing – so the change has been hard, but the outcomes have been very rewarding,” he said.
“Outcomes such as happy customers and even same-day return customers have been a big surprise based on how new this all is to us,” Kral said from the restaurant near Exit 222 on I-17. “Selling out of meats and pizzas early has shown us that even in a social distancing world, summer crowds are heading north and embracing takeout food options.”
In Flagstaff, the Flagstaff Local–My Actions Matter program also encourages citizens to snap pictures of their takeout orders. Participants earn points when they post the photo at flagstafflocal.com. That is only one of the ways locals earn points to win rewards that include gift baskets, gift cards and entries into drawings for a sit-stand workstation, bicycles and $1,000 cash. Participants also earn reward points by shopping local, volunteering, practicing eco-friendly activities, donating, mentoring, supporting education and voting. For details and to sign up, go to flagstafflocal.com.
How to Find Restaurants Open for Takeout
During these changing times, it is not always clear which restaurants are open for business, and which are closed. Takeout patrons can find information online as several Flagstaff businesses have stepped up to maintain ever-changing lists of restaurants with carryout service.
The Greater Flagstaff Area Chamber of Commerce updates its Flagstaff To Go list at flagstaffchamber.com/flagstaff-to-go
The City of Flagstaff collaborates with JB DeWitt, a small business consultant and Peak Hospitality Solutions, to provide an easy-to-use search tool on Facebook. Join the group #weareflagstaff #weareopen at facebook.com/groups/199119778025853 to find which area restaurants remain open. Businesses can sign up for the free service once they join the Facebook group.
Great Circle Media and KAFF News maintain a list of Northern Arizona restaurants with takeout during the coronavirus pandemic at
For more information about The Great American Takeout, and free promotional materials for takeout businesses, visit
By Stacey Wittig, FBN