PHILADELPHIA – Center City District (CCD) is launching an advertising campaign across multiple media platforms to promote Philadelphia’s restaurants during the coldest winter months from January through March.
The new campaign encourages the public to patronize restaurants through takeout orders, because not all restaurants have been able to install heated outdoor dining areas and the return to indoor dining will probably be gradual when it begins.
Skip the Dishes. Order Directly from Restaurants. Tip Generously.
The campaign features the hashtag #takeoutphilly and includes ads in print, on the radio, web and social media, on bus shelters and on digital screens as well as emails directly to Center City and regional residents. Postcards are being distributed to residential buildings throughout the downtown with the message “Get Takeout! Skip the Dishes. Order Directly From Restaurants. Tip Generously.”
Additionally, Center City restaurants are handing out Election Day-inspired “I Take Out” stickers to their takeout customers.
“The campaign visuals, designed by Levlane, are inspired by two iconic American characters -- Uncle Sam and Rosie the Riveter – urge the public to support our restaurants, their staff and all of our small-business owners,” said Michelle Shannon, CCD’s Vice President of Marketing and Communications. “It’s not an exaggeration to say that many of our favorite places, which also provide thousands of jobs, are counting on us for their survival.”
The campaign also features several chances to win dinner for a year. During each month of the campaign, two winners will be chosen from participants who turn in receipts from their Center City restaurant purchases. Additional details are available at supportphillyrestaurants.com.
While the campaign is intended to promote the restaurant sector in a lighthearted way, the survival of these businesses is critical to the city’s economic recovery and the return of jobs. After plummeting dramatically in April, both nationally and locally, Philadelphia employment in both retail and restaurants has been steadily rebounding with retail jobs almost regaining January 2020 levels, but with restaurant and food service employment in Philadelphia still 38% below January 2020 levels, due to the inability of restaurants to serve indoors at full capacity for the last nine months.
Despite the ongoing challenges, total outdoor seating within CCD boundaries increased from 2,997 seats in June to 5,152 seats in September, and Center City-wide the number rose to 9,500 seats. Among 47 restaurants within Midtown Village and west of Broad Street surveyed by CCD in late November, when new city regulations limited restaurants to outdoor dining and takeout only, 33 were open and providing outdoor seating.
“Our restaurants have been incredibly entrepreneurial during this extraordinarily challenging time, from the creativity that has gone into designing heated outdoor dining spaces to the ingenuity that was required to quickly develop new business models focused on takeout,” said CCD President Paul R. Levy. “Restaurants are doing all they can to keep their staffs employed and their kitchens open. This campaign is designed to support these small businesses that provide jobs and bring vitality to the city.”