ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – Discover Albany, Albany County’s convention and visitors bureau, released a statement declaring February “Restaurant Appreciation Month.” The distinction makes it easier to support locally-owned businesses struggling with COVID restrictions.

“The leisure and hospitality industry in the Albany metro area has taken a devastating hit, losing more than 15,000 jobs in 2020—which is more than one-third of the total jobs lost during that time,” Jill Delaney, president and CEO of Discover Albany, said in a statement. “Many of our partners, including hotels and restaurants, are among those who experienced these job losses—having to reduce staff, alter accommodations, and in some cases even close their doors. Albany County’s local restaurants are such an important piece of our vibrant community for visitors and residents.”

Throughout the county, ordering food from participating businesses can earn you a prize at the end of the month. In fact, both customers and businesses can win if they follow simple steps:

  • Order takeout, curbside pickup, delivery, or dine-in at your favorite Capital Region eatery
  • Email a screenshot or photo of your receipt to by 11:59 p.m. on February 28
  • Automatically enter for a chance to win a takeout care package

And although COVID requirements have made running the business difficult for many owners, Discover Albany said that one lucky business owner wins a free Promotional Partnership, the highest tier in a new campaign set to roll out later in the year. All restaurants in Albany County are eligible with no action required on their end.

The winning customer’s care package will include an insulated takeout bag, reusable straws, and Albany-themed goodies.  Locals are encouraged to share photos on social media using #LoveAlbanyRestaurants.

Discover Albany says they’ll randomly choose a winning customer and winning restaurant from separate drawings on March 1. You can submit multiple entries using receipts from different restaurants. Check their website for more information.