Introducing: Takeout 25 Oak Park

Pathway to help restaurants manage the shutdown

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By Melissa Elsmo

Food Writer

Ravi Parakkat, a 14-year Oak Park resident and current village trustee candidate, has pulled together local leaders and residents in an effort to buoy local restaurants through the challenging winter months of COVID ahead. 

After witnessing the "very binary debate" generated by one local restaurant's decision to defy the governor's dining room closure mandate, Parakkat went in search of a solution.

"The debate between restaurant survival and public health does not yield any results that benefit the business or broader community," said Parakkat. "The solution has to be beneficial to both."

Parakkat put his background in consulting and small business ownership to use to create a mathematical formula designed to help community members see how making a small commitment can have a big impact on the local restaurant economy.

There are approximately 100 restaurants in Oak Park and Parakkat assumed the average basic operating costs for a restaurant is $10,000 per month. That means the Oak Park community must generate a million dollars a month in restaurant takeout business to get the 100 restaurants $10,000 per month in revenue.

Parakkat breaks it down further:

"If we get 10,000 Oak Park households to spend $25 each a week or $100 each a month on local restaurants this winter, then we have the numbers."

Working with the Oak Park Economic Development Corporation, OPRF Chamber of Commerce, Downtown Oak Park, the Hemingway District (and other business district leads), a5 Inc, Visit Oak Park, Wednesday Journal and other leaders in the business community, Parakkat is formalizing a campaign to inspire community members to pledge to spend $25 per week at local restaurants throughout the winter.

The initiative is in its infancy, but you can learn more by visiting  takeout25oakpark.com or joining the Takeout 25 Oak Park group on Facebook.

Contact:
Email: melissa@oakparkeats.com

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Reader Comments

4 Comments - Add Your Comment

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Comment Policy

William Dwyer Jr.  

Posted: November 21st, 2020 9:49 AM

The bill passed by the US House has $120 billion for independent restaurants for rent, payroll, etc. only for restaurants under 20 sites. Senate has for months refused to act and McConnell wants aid for larger chains. Clear choice ere.

Jeanine Pedersen  

Posted: November 20th, 2020 2:14 PM

I'm so excited about this initiative. Local businesses are being supported and I don't have to cook!

Bill Maxwell  

Posted: November 20th, 2020 12:36 PM

This is a very good idea although I still like the idea of just sending in a monthly check and not expect anything back so the restaurants can receive money until inspectors can make sure they are following CDC guidelines when customers are not allowed in to observe if they are or not. This has been the problem before when they were open. Also, averages are easy to add in to receive an result although each business is different. This is when it requires a person or people to actually go to each business and find out what their operating expenses are and not just generalize. As for throwing eggs and screaming at board meetings, who knows who is going to do that until they become a board member. It just seems like the new trend

Tom MacMillan from Oak Park  

Posted: November 20th, 2020 12:15 PM

A Trustee who will not be screaming at people or organizing egg throwing attacks on other board members. This business based thinking is the kind of leadership we need. Great to see a great candidate in the mix.

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