Join ‘The Great American Takeout’ to support local restaurants

Local News

PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD) — Local organizations are encouraging residents to support local businesses by ordering carry out on Tuesday in a nationwide initiative called “The Great American Takeout.”

The COVID-19 pandemic is causing roadblocks for the restaurant business as Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s shelter in place mandate is effective through April 7. During “The Great American Takeout,” people are encouraged to order at least one delivery or pick-up meal to show support for local restaurants.

“You can just tell the community is really, really backing these restaurants and these bars that had to close down or do minimal hours or just do carryout,” said Clay Dobelstein, owner of Country Club Barbecue.

The campaign is used to encourage everyone to get one meal from their favorite restaurant. Dobelstein owns Country Club Barbecue in West Peoria and says his business is still surviving despite concerns of eating out.

Travis Mohlenbrink owns five restaurants in the Peoria area and says he’s thankful for every customer.

“Is it sustainable, probably not for the long term, so we’re hoping everyone takes this serious and we get through this as quick as possible,” Mohlenbrink said. “When people are down and out this community answers, and so I expect today to be a very busy day because of the types of people we have in Central Illinois.”

To participate in The Great American Takeout, community members are being asked to:

  • Post on social media in advance of the event, encouraging friends and followers to take part in #thegreatamericantakeout
  • Engage friends, family, and colleagues to support their local restaurants by ordering takeout meals
  • Order delivery or pick-up for at least one meal on Tuesday, sharing photos on social media tagged with #thegreatamericantakeout.

The Peoria Area Convention and Visitors Bureau (PACVB) are backing the initiative that was created by a coalition of national restaurants including Panera Bread, Noodles & Company, and Jason’s Deli.

“We are living in unprecedented times. Now more than ever, we must come together as a community to support our local businesses in any way we can,” said J.D. Dalfonso, PACVB President/CEO. “The Peoria region has so many unique and delicious restaurants to support for The Great American Takeout.”

Until dine-in is allowed in Illinois, restaurant owners say they are doing all they can to stay afloat. For a list of restaurants offering carryout and delivery, visit

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