Monday, December 4, 2023

How Do We Handle Restaurants in a Time of Isolation?

Things are becoming stranger each day. All of our normal lives have been put on hold, while we try to maneuver the new virus-could-be-everywhere world. 

Food is a communal event. While eating is a must-do daily, we make a lot of happy memories when sharing meals with others, in restaurants or around the table. Now, when isolation is recommended, that time of sharing seems to be tossed out. 

It doesn’t have to be all or nothing. Common sense can save us from pulling iron curtains down around our homes. And if we abandon restaurants and food suppliers, their livelihoods will vanish, too, along with all of those depending on the food chain for their paychecks.

What’s the answer? 

  • Find restaurants that are offering delivery or curbside service. True, the fun of sitting in a nicely decorated restaurant is gone, but not forever. So meanwhile, support your favorite venues by ordering their meals to go.
  • Use home delivery services for full meals or ingredients that allow you to cook in your kitchen. See here for suggestions:
  • Consider buying gift cards. You can always give these as gifts, but it’s also a way to give money up-front to restaurants and use the gift cards yourself. Some restaurants are offering specials when buying gift cards (for example, buy a $100 gift card for $80), and you can save money this way. Some are offering gift cards as part of take-out orders.
    • Harvest Seasonal Grill & Wine Bar, 1841 S. Federal Highway, Delray Beach; 561/266-3239; Offering $5 gift cards for takeout orders of $25 for more; $10 gift cards for takeout cards of $50 or more.
  • Some venues sell merchandise: mugs, shirts, hats, etc. Buying any of these will help keep the restaurant in business. 
  • OpenTable suggests some things to help restaurateurs: Cancel as soon as you know you’re not going to keep a reservation. Re-book for a future date – it will give everyone something to look forward to. Tip generously, as these employees are some of the first to suffer in times of economic distress.
  • If you’ve purchased dining coupons, see if the restaurant will honor it with take-out orders, too. This is true for a lot of Local Dines coupons, according to a response from Local Dines CEO Taylor Morgan.
Lynn Kalber
Lynn Kalber
Lynn Kalber was raised in Boca Raton and has always worked in Palm Beach and Broward counties. She is a career journalist, with 26 years at The Palm Beach Post alone, where she wrote feature and food articles, edited the food section and wrote about wine as part of the Swirl Girls.

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