The city of Philadelphia expanded its order restricting social interaction in an effort to slow the spread of COVID-19, and the new rules impact local restaurants and food trucks.
As of Monday, March 23, a “stay at home” order is in effect in Philly, along with new business restrictions. Essentially, residents should stay home unless they really need to go out for something like buying food or visiting a doctor. Going outside for exercise is also permitted. But gatherings are not — people who don’t live in the same house should not get together. More information on what’s allowed and what is not is here.
For now, only businesses that provide essential services can stay open. Essential businesses include supermarkets, grocery stores, and farmers’ markets. Bars must close. Same as last week, restaurants have to keep their dining rooms closed and stick to takeout and delivery.
Here’s where the change comes in: While restaurants can continue to offer takeout and delivery, customers can no longer just walk inside a restaurant to order food. All orders have to be done online or via phone. When the food is ready, a customer can walk in to pick it up.
Some restaurants prefer bringing the food out to you, so it’s a good idea to check before you walk in.
The other big change in effect starting March 23 is that mobile food vendors, like food trucks and ice cream trucks, can no longer operate.
Facing this crisis, many Philly restaurants decided to close entirely for now, citing health and safety concerns for customers and employees and a realization that it’s not worth the effort — they can’t make enough money for staying open to make sense.
Others are focusing on takeout and delivery, working with skeleton crews to keep themselves up and running and keep feeding Philly.