There are plenty of apps to help you find somewhere to eat, but it's not always easy to know who you're supporting with your money. It's even more difficult to find a spot owned by a member of a specific community you want to support. While it's always important to put your money where your mouth is by supporting small businesses, making an extra effort to shop Asian-owned restaurants and eateries will help struggling businesses get back on their feet. Here's how to find Asian-owned restaurants and businesses so you can support your favorite AAPI-owned eateries and discover new ones.
Dining out or ordering in from a local spot is a great way to support business owners in your community — and it's even better when you know exactly where your money is going. Of course, it's important to always support Asian-owned businesses, but there's no denying the effects of the coronavirus pandemic may have you wanting to give a little more. In fact, the Associated Press reported in December 2020 that Asian-owned businesses disproportionately suffered financially during the pandemic compared to other small businesses. That, along with the perpetuation of racist stereotypes during the pandemic, may have you eager to support more Asian-owned establishments and celebrate the AAPI community in your neighborhood.
Through it all, there has also been an increase in consumers looking to support AAPI communities. Searches for Asian-owned businesses on Yelp by U.S. consumers increased 130% in 2021 as compared to the same period in February 2020, per Yelp's Local Economic Impact Report on diverse businesses.
Here are some of the brands that are curating lists of Asian-owned businesses to make it easier for people to search for them. This list will continue to be updated as more companies add search features for finding Asian-owned eateries.
In April 2021, Yelp became one of the first major companies to allow users to browse Asian-owned businesses that have been designated as such by their owners. Just like how women, Black, and Latinx business owners are able to self-identify their companies, Asian business owners can now opt in to identify their companies as Asian-owned in their Yelp for Business account.
You can search Asian-owned businesses in your area on Yelp by typing it in the search bar on your app or online. Then, you can scroll through the different businesses that have added the "Asian-owned" identifier. As of May 6, Yelp says thousands of businesses have added the attribute.
From there, you can order on Yelp by tapping the "Start Order" button if the restaurant offers pick-up and/or delivery. If the restaurant signed up for Yelp reservations, you can click on the business name and tap the "Find a Table" button that's located next to the phone number. Once you select it, you'll be able to pick a time and date to dine at the restaurant.
Grubhub doesn't have a tool that lets you filter AAPI-owned restaurants , but a May 2021 blog post features video profiles of four Asian restaurant owners. You can order from any of their businesses, which span from New York to San Francisco, on Grubhub. In addition, customers can take advantage of Grubhub's Donate the Change feature and round up their order to support AAPI-owned restaurants. Grubhub will match donations made by Grubhub+ members.
While popular restaurant curation website Infatuation doesn't have a tag for Asian-owned businesses, its list of everyday food and kitchen products from Asian-owned small businesses is pretty extensive and features lots of unique offerings, including specialties from well-known local restaurant owners. In addition to checking out their grocery and online products, you can also visit their restaurants IRL.
If you live in the Bay area in San Francisco, California, you'll want to check out OpenTable's list of its favorite Asian-owned and operated restaurants in the neighborhood.
Some apps are giving consumers a more convenient tool for searching Asian-owned businesses on their platforms, but it's unfortunately not mainstream yet. Keep in mind that you can always filter out restaurants by cuisine, but to make sure you're supporting an Asian-owned restaurant, you'll have to do a little more digging to see who's really behind the eatery.