As restaurants, bars and taverns have closed their doors voluntarily or under government orders amid the public health crisis surrounding COVID-19, a population accustomed to the freedom of dining out for special occasions or as part of daily life has found they must make an assortment of changes. However, it’s still possible to enjoy the offerings of your favorite restaurants. Restaurants have made some dramatic changes in an effort to meet the needs of their customers.
• Oven-ready meals: Some restaurants are offering oven-ready meals that fully prepared dishes that customers need only heat up at home.
• Deep discounts: Certain businesses are cutting prices on menu items in order to generate revenue. The Los Angeles-based Morrison Pub recently slashed prices to $10 or less for items that typically cost more than that. Other restaurants are shuttering dining rooms and providing discounts on take-out as incentives to customers.
• Prepaid options: The reservation service Resy has opened up its service to restaurant owners to offer take-out meals restaurant guests can book and pay for online. Other reservation businesses may soon follow suit.
• Delivered spirits: Businesses with on-premise liquor licenses might be able to deliver alcohol and offer it for takeout. Rules depend on where you live, but the New York State Liquor Authority temporarily allowed alcohol takeout beginning in March 2020.
• To-go party plans: CEC Entertainment, the parent company of the Chuck E. Cheese and Peter Piper Pizza restaurants, said the concepts would launch new family and birthday packages that included takeout pizza, birthday cake and goodie bags, in addition to two game apps for Chuck E. Cheese that provided virtual tickets redeemable at a later date when restaurants reopen.
• Pre-packaged favorites: Certain chain restaurants have long offered frozen selections of their popular appetizers and other dishes. When at the supermarket, check the freezer section for items from restaurants like TGI Fridays’ and PF Changs.
Takeout has become the new norm as people are urged to stay home instead of dining out in crowds.