Kingwood resident uses social media game to support Lake Houston-area restaurants

A social media game of bingo is encouraging Lake Houston-area residents to eat locally during self-quarantining. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
A social media game of bingo is encouraging Lake Houston-area residents to eat locally during self-quarantining. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)

A social media game of bingo is encouraging Lake Houston-area residents to eat locally during self-quarantining. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)

A social media game of bingo is encouraging Lake Houston-area residents to order local food to-go while self-quarantining during the coronavirus. Nicole Watkins, a Kingwood native with more than 20 years in the service industry, launched the "Quarantingo Bingo" game on Facebook on March 29.

Players can join the Facebook group, request a bingo card either through a post on the page or a direct message, and then mark off squares when they order at least $15 of to-go food from the featured restaurants. When a player gets bingo, they can pick a gift certificate from a local restaurant featured on their card.

"They'll win this gift card, but they'll be able to use it at a later date after ... we've gone back to normal," she said. "We're trying to build business, not take away from businesses right now."

As a bartender and event organizer, Watkins said she understood local restaurants would struggle under statewide restrictions barring dine-in orders at restaurants. She said she does not make any profit from the game.

"I thought [it would be] a great way to bring back business into these locally owned, smaller restaurants that are really going to struggle during this time and to basically drum up business," she said.


Watkins started by contacting restaurants in the Lake Houston area and asking them if they would donate a $20 gift card or items of equal value, which would earn them a spot on a round of bingo cards. A little over a week after the game launched, Watkins said the Quarantingo Bingo Facebook page had more than 350 members. As of April 16, the group has more than 400 members.

"There might be restaurant on here that to get your bingo there's this last spot that you've never even heard of, or maybe you have but it just hasn't been your cup of tea—or you don't think [it is]," she said. "Then all the sudden, you look at their menu and you see that if you get a bingo, you get a gift card to a restaurant you want. You may say, 'Let's order from this place and check it out.'"

Heard of any other social media-driven games or groups happening in the Lake Houston, Humble and Kingwood area during the coronavirus? Let us know by emailing [email protected]
By Kelly Schafler

Managing editor, South Houston

Kelly joined Community Impact Newspaper as a reporter in June 2017 after majoring in print journalism and creative writing at the University of Houston. In March 2019, she transitioned to editor for the Lake Houston-Humble-Kingwood edition and began covering the Spring and Klein area as well in August 2020. In June 2021, Kelly was promoted to South Houston managing editor.