GROVE CITY – A new Facebook group is encouraging people to support restaurants in the Grove City area during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“It helps to bring awareness to some of everybody’s favorites,” Rachel Maga said.

Maga is president of Ten Four Social, the Pittsburgh-based social media marketing agency that recently created “Let’s Eat, Grove City” on Facebook.

In mid-March, Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf ordered that restaurants close their dining rooms in order to help prevent the spread of the virus.

Restaurants are allowed to sell food through take-out and delivery orders, and projects like “Let’s Eat, Grove City” are helping local eateries spread the word.

“We’ve had really wonderful feedback,” Maga said.

The goal is to create a community of people who love to support small businesses – with a focus on restaurants.

Posts in the public group include information about restaurants’ daily specials and hours of operation, plus gift card giveaways and discounts.

“It’s completely free,” she said of how there’s no cost for the restaurants to join the Facebook group.

Ten Four Social has been sharing video interviews that its staff has conducted with local businesses like Allie’s Sweet Tooth and the Main Street Diner.

“It’s one of the easiest ways to reach your customers,” said Deno Neofotisto, owner of Main Street Diner, 1313 W. Main St., Grove City.

When the restaurant had to close its dining room in March, it sold take-out orders for about two weeks. That didn’t generate much business, so it didn’t make sense to remain open, he said.

The diner reopened after taking a few weeks to regroup, which also gave customers time to get used to the changes brought on by the pandemic.

“The customers have been amazing,” Neofotisto said.

The restaurant now offers online ordering, and DoorDash is used for delivery.

“Let’s Eat, Grove City” has been a great tool to let customers know what’s going on at their favorite restaurants, he said, adding that the diner will likely have its “Greek Night” twice a month.

Allie Adams, who owns Allie’s Sweet Tooth bakery, 113A N. Broad St., Grove City, agreed that the Facebook group is a wonderful resource for business owners in a small town.

It helps show people who they are supporting, how orders are being handled during this time, and how their patronage is affecting the businesses.

The Ten Four Social team has been selfless and kind during this uncertain time, she said.

We all hope people continue to shop local; this page promotes and support that,” Adams said.

Working with the pandemic guidelines continues to be a big adjustment for everyone, and the restaurant owners have been wonderful, Maga said.

“Everybody’s trying to do their best,” she said.

Customers have been leaving feedback on the page about food they’ve ordered and service they’ve received.

Maga said that there will be more interviews with restaurant owners plus new content that may include cooking tips.

“It all comes back to the community,” she said.

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