food delivery in isolation - your needs/wants

Making this a general topic since multiple states are closing restaurant dining rooms.

Covid-19 is already devastating to the hospitality industry. Some restaurants may be able to scrape by on a skeleton crew and take-out with laid-off staff qualifying for unemployment. But there are other owner-operators who won’t qualify for unemployment and catering demand is in free-fall. Private chefs and caterers need to get creative - hopefully we’re already good at that, but I wanted to brainstorm here.

If you’re staying home but still trust other people to make food for you, what would you want a personal chef to do for you?

Would you order several meals of prepared food to be heated as needed so you don’t have to worry about it for a few days? Meal kits with some assembly? Only dinner or would you order breakfast/lunch items like quiche, pastries? Comfort food or something indulgent? Fancy picnic basket?

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2-star Michelin chef Christophe Hardiquest has to close his restaurant Bon Bon in Brussels for 2 weeks by law. He proposed his clients that his employees will be divided into 4 small teams. Each team consists of 2 chefs and a server, they will come and cook at your home. Price is cheaper than eating in his restaurant.

Actually, I don’t know what to think, especially the government wants to reduce human contact.

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Better if they cooked in the restaurant and did a home delivery service.

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  1. The European Unión has closed all borders of the 26 countries to contain the virus.
  2. France has done same as Spain and Italy - all restaurants and bars are closed at the moment.
  3. This deadly disease is highly contagious and because we do not have a vaccine and pills / antedotes or medicines to prevent in addition to cure those afflicted, it is a must to STAY HOME except for market purchases, banking needs, dry cleaners, and appointments with lawyers, insurance companies, veternarians (animal doctors) dentists, or walking the dog if you have one.
  4. There are NO outbound flights out of the E.U. and no incoming except for medical supplies and medical practioners and emergency workers.
  5. ALL DELIVERIES (Lorry Drivers) must stop at the PASSPORT CONTROL OF EACH COUNTRY AND SHOW THEIR IDENTIFICATION AND WHAT THEY ARE DELIVERING AND TO WHICH COUNTRY AND WHAT MERCHANDISE. SAME WITH VANS AND CARS.

This is a necessity to contain the virus.

YES, RESTAURANTS AND BARS ( TO COVER ECONOMICS) ARE ABLE TO SELL FOOD FOR TAKE OUTS AND / OR DELIVERIES …

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To answer you, out of all food, I think good pastries and cakes sound good especially with difficult times. Although they aren’t essential, but they give joy in these doubtful moments. Maybe this will appeal to family that have kids at home, a little award for the little kids that try their best to behave well?!

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A nice local restaurant we like sent emails they were closing for two weeks and hope to start up again with takeout and delivery. In that case I’d be more than comfortable ordering dinners from them as we know the people and the place. For other places that I was not familiar with, I’d be much less likely to order food from.

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Where I am, there are not too many restaurants which do delivery. And we’ve only ever ordered from a couple where we’ve eaten at the restaurant. We’re going to try the others in the coming weeks as we are now on lockdown, so we’re replacing “restaurant night” with “delivery night”.

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My inbox is jammed with email from local restaurants that are offering take-out and delivery that never did before.

To answer you question we would not engage in your proposal or in local delivery. We usually only eat out once a month aside from business meals. We are set to feed ourselves for some time. Based on local reporting we are NOT representative of most people here in Annapolis MD USA. People seem desperate for other people to cook for them while the food the bought to hoard in a panic rots.

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H & I are both good cooks; luckily we keep extensive pantries, as well as freezers; So we’ll be ok. However, if alone, and not up to cooking, I’d order things such as specialty quiches or comfort dinners, which would be freezable. Mac n cheese, lasagne, soups, and so forth.

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@Babette Dear Andrea,

You asked for brainstorming. Remember, you asked . grin I don’t know how big your team is or what your supply chain looks like.
You might check with your local or state emergency management office and see if you can contract to feed their people on site.
I think people are drifting home but local hotels and motels without an onsite restaurant may let you post signage for guests.
Whatever you choose to do, pick a local TV or radio station and work hard to schmooze an interview (“local business helping vulnerable residents”) - content is the best advertising.
If you are successful you’ll need help with phones and email. You don’t want to pull someone from the line for that. Good job for a mature teen home with school closures. Answer phones, respond to email. Not authorized to say “no.” Instead “let me be sure I understand what you want and chef will get back to you - she is calling back mid-morning and mid-afternoon.”

I will you the best. If I think of anything else I’ll circle back.

One of my caterer friends has three employees he’d like to keep busy.

Any restaurant still open is doing take-out, so I was thinking prepared items to be re-heated. Wondering if people would rather have set meal packages or a la carte. Some seniors might not want to go shopping, people with kids at home and trying to also work from home might not have the time or energy.

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Which is an interesting thought. A more personal version of personal shopping than PeaPod et al.

I’m interested in foods that I can finish cooking at home to kill germs and minimize risk. Shepherd’s pie, pot pie, potatoes au gratin, lasagna, par-baked pizzas and breads, soups that can withstand boiling, calzones, cinnamon rolls, quiche, savory pastries, etc. I want to support restaurants/caterers, but I also don’t want to “undo” the whole point of social isolating. Does that make sense?

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Yes, total sense. Closing dining rooms decreases the risk but not to zero. I think having that ‘kill step’ at home would be reassuring to a lot of people.

I realized I should probably check with licensing agencies before making any big changes, I’m licensed by the state dept of Ag which supersedes county health dept licensing in some areas (like if I do farmers markets) but probably not retail meal delivery.

Maybe I’ll talk to my landlord about putting together a food pantry for the neighborhood, I can re-pack dry goods in small amounts or buy produce in bulk and keep it cold, that should be fine.

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Much to her chagrin, I will not let my 91-yo-mom go out to a grocery store. She’s healthy with no respiratory problems and I intend to keep it that way.

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If it helps, my 80+ year neighbor and I made a deal that I take care of her grocery runs and procuring any other essentials. She is plenty robust for her age, and we’re all determined to keep things that way. We talk on the phone and she leaves a list on her porch for me. I drop the groceries there.

Staying out of harm’s way is brave!

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Several restaurants here are doing the same - Fuddruckers is selling ground beef and chicken, which are in short supply in stores. A local Italian eatery is closing and selling all its food inventory, mostly produce, outside the restaurant.

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@Babette I found this information very helpful, and in fact, ordered takeout promptly after! DH picked up wearing a mask, carried bag home, removed food and disposed of bag, and sprayed containers down with alcohol. Then washed hands and sanitized door handles. A bit overkill, probably.

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