4 Creative Delivery Strategies to Help the Community

Everyone has felt the effects of business closures, loss of income and a moratorium on public gatherings because of COVID-19 and the subsequent mass isolation measures put in place around the globe.

Still, while restaurants all over wonder if they’ll have to shut their doors, some have found creative ways to connect with their community and help out individuals currently struggling as much as their business. Some incredible restaurants have modified their ordering and delivery strategy in novel ways to support the customers and communities that have always supported them.

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1. Pay-what-you-can

Many restaurant owners understand that if they’re having trouble staying afloat, their customers likely find themselves in a similarly complicated financial situation. Because of this, many restaurants across the U.S. have implemented a “pay-what-you-can” strategy in the hopes of helping their local communities during this trying time.

Although some might take advantage of this, restaurants hope that people recognize the value of hard work and understand that the staff risks infection every day so that customers can have food on their tables. Thus much like tipping delivery drivers, people will likely pay what’s owed these days—if they can afford it—or possibly even more if they have money to spare. With this model, everyone can support local community members who do need to pay a little bit less than usual because of the recent economic downturn.

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2. Rotating menus

Other local restaurants have discovered the untapped potential of rotating menus. Whereas the majority of restaurants have a set, expansive selection of dishes to choose from, other establishments, typically higher-end fine dining, have always routinely switched out their selections. Now, other businesses have begun taking advantage of this same trend.

Twisted Soul in Atlanta, Georgia has started doing exactly that. Depending on their inventory each week, they offer different menus that rotate out, and they no longer open every day either. This method has several different benefits: For one, they only require a few cooks at a time rather than the usual, entire robust kitchen. This saves money on labor costs and prevents overstaffing during the inevitable downtime. Reducing their business hours furthers this end as well.

3. Groceries

Markets carries a lot of fear and stigma nowadays. People breaking the six foot distancing rule out of necessity, cashiers who have processed a lot of people’s groceries that day, items that have been touched by countless hands on the shelves. Although you can avoid these concerns to an extent—going during off-peak hours, for example, using the self-checkout machine and remembering that items like boxes and food have no known ability to carry the virus—some restaurants now offer another alternative: Delivering groceries.

Though platforms like Instacart were built to provide this service, some restaurants now let you order certain groceries, like overflow ingredients, along with your actual meal. Many people find this a great way to get the necessities while staying sheltered in place. One restaurant called Tesse in West Hollywood has taken this concept even further: They’ve now temporarily become Tesse’s Market, and they offer produce, bread, eggs and more products that have long since become difficult to find on stores’ shelves. Other restaurants take a different route and offer needed goods, like toilet paper, for free with all regular purchases.

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4. Alcohol

Some restaurants started boosting sales a different way. Previously, you couldn’t carry alcoholic beverages off the premises and you definitely couldn’t get drinks delivered. If you wanted liquor to your door, you had to use an alcohol delivery service like Minibar or a third party platform like Instacart, both of which verify your I.D. on arrival.

Those businesses have seen increased sales since shelter in place measures began. Food service establishments have gotten in on the trend as well. In places like California, Texas, Colorado and D.C., customers can add drinks that they would usually get during dine-in service to their order and have it delivered along with their food. Many businesses are seeing small profits from this which helps with their overall bottom line. Every sale counts.

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As quarantines extend and more businesses have to shutter their doors, some incredible restaurants are striving to take care of their community just as they ask the community to take care of them. Many people worry about the future and the long-term effects of COVID-19. In times like these, we can still come together and find power, and kindness, in each other.

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