The Socially Distanced Supper Club Brought Everyone Together

Socially Distanced Supper Club
John Brewer and Iain Paterson, photo by Aaron Bristol

It’s the place to go if you want to find the best wings in your area, or you’re looking for a great three-course meal to bring home and devour. It’s the best place to hear about new venues, or ones that we’ve lost. 

I’m referring to The Socially Distanced Supper Club on Facebook, which started a national movement for folks trying to support their local restaurants. 

In March 2020, Delray residents John Brewer and Iain Paterson decided to help the area’s suffering restaurants by providing a flash mob of buyers. They featured certain restaurants on certain nights, and those restaurants came up with terrific meal deals. Advance ordering was required, which allowed the restaurants to know how much food to buy and how many employees to have on hand. Some places sold 200-500 meals when their turn came to be featured. In what turned out to be no time at all, their idea was not only successful in SoFla, but was being imitated all across the U.S.

And it’s still going strong, with the original Delray group alone having more than 16,000 members. “We’re building community,” says Brewer, who posts regular videos keeping members up to date about specials and special people. “You’re caring for these small businesses.”

There are regular pop-up efforts at some venues that donate a night’s proceeds to pay restaurant employees. Or donate to charities. There are still family-style meals that cost $10-$15; these are real deals. Participation is still very high.

Most of all, there is still the support from the community that was the impetus behind the supper club. Club chapters include Delray, Boca Raton, Boynton Beach/Lake Worth Beach, West Palm Beach, Lake Park, Wellington/Royal Palm and more. Each has a Facebook page and a lot of restaurant partners.

We might be keeping socially distanced, but this supper club effort has brought everyone a bit closer during a stressful time, not to mention having kept many restaurants in business. 

With a new year starting, let’s keep helping our neighborhood restaurants and all of the folks they employ. Join a Socially Distanced Supper Club, if you haven’t already. Eat well, and stay safe.

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