(CBS Local) -- The restaurant industry, which has been particularly hard-hit by the COVID-19 pandemic, is asking consumers to participate in "The Great American Takeout" on Tuesday, March 24.
Many states and cities nationwide have ordered all dine-in restaurant operations closed to help stop the spread of the coronavirus.
And while many restaurants can still offer takeout service, delivery and pick-up, social distancing and lockdowns pose a tremendous economic threat to the restaurant sector, which employs an estimated 15 million workers.
That's what spurred a coalition of national and regional eateries to organize #thegreatamericantakeout.
"This is no longer about the survival of individual restaurants," Russ Bendel, CEO of The Habit Burger Grill, said in a press release. "It's about the future of our industry. And time has run out. Together, we must act to support each other and our communities in unprecedented ways."
Coalition brands, which include California Pizza Kitchen, Chevys Fresh Mex, El Torito, The Habit Restaurants Inc., Jason's Deli, Lemonade, Modern Market, Noodles & Company, Panera Bread, The Cheesecake Factory, IHOP, Blaze Pizza, Veggie Grill and Qdoba are encouraging U.S. consumers to order at least one delivery or pick-up meal on Tuesday to show support for the restaurant.
Consumers are being asked to post on social media using the hashtag #thegreatamericantakeout to encourage participation.
Restaurants can join the event by adding their information to the list here and asking customers to share via social media and email lists.
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