COVID-19’s impact on restaurants, delivery services

By George Cho || Contributing Writer

Courtesy of The Mercury News.

To put it lightly, the Coronavirus pandemic has wreaked all kinds of havoc on businesses. Restaurants are no exception as thousands of dining spaces have shut down while owners and staff members scramble to keep their establishments afloat. With dine-in options closed, eateries have opted to continue their services via take-out and/or delivery. 

For restaurants providing take-out options, establishments have handled their services in a number of ways. Fast food restaurants have simply been able to use their drive-through to allow customers to purchase their meals. However, it is generally recommended that patrons call, text, or email their order to the restaurant, pay via debit/credit card, and wait at home or at a safe location distant from other people until they are notified that their food is ready to be picked up. Some establishments have allowed customers inside to quickly collect their food so long as they are wearing masks and adhere to CDC guidelines of social distancing. Others have opted to curbside pickup where an employee brings the customer’s order to their vehicle. 

Delivery workers and third-party delivery services have taken measures to ensure the health and safety of their drivers and customers. GrubHub and UberEats have provided their drivers with disinfectant wipes, bottles of hand-sanitizer, masks, and other supplies. DoorDash has provided its partner merchants with a set of guidelines on food safety using tamper-proof packaging and seal stickers to ensure freshness. Customers are urged to put in specific instructions of where (ie. their doorstep or lobby) their food should be dropped off to ensure successful transactions of no-contact delivery. 

It is still an uphill battle for restaurants to maintain their business during the Coronavirus pandemic. However, some have taken creative measures to keep themselves open. On April 8th, 2020, Panera Bread launched Panera Grocery. Under their slogan, “From Our Pantry to Yours,” participating cafés permit customers to place orders of produce, dairy products, and freshly baked goods online and receive them via rapid-pick up or contactless delivery. Other chains and independent restaurants have transformed their businesses into miniature markets. Customers can purchase spices, snacks, supplies, and even toilet paper. If you don’t have a grocery store nearby, check your local eateries to see if they’re providing this service. 

Support Local Businesses! It is at this point in the article where I would like to make a shoutout for local business in the Lancaster City area. In this incredibly difficult time, many of our favorite local eateries are at risk of closing down permanently. If you’re reading this on-campus or from the Lancaster, PA area and are able to, consider purchasing a snack or a meal from one of the following locations. All restaurants are strictly limited to delivery and/or pickup options. 

Steel Peel Pizza Address: 611 Harrisburg Ave, Lancaster, PA 17603 Phone number: 717-299-6212 Website: https://steelpeelpizza.com/ 

Splits & Giggles Café Address: 500 W Lemon St, Lancaster, PA 17603 Phone number: 717-399-3332 Website: http://www.splitsandgiggles.com/ 

Mr. Bill’s Fresh Seafood Address: 430 Harrisburg Ave, Lancaster, PA 17603 Phone number: 717-299-2791 Website: https://www.mrbillsseafood.com/ 

Rachel’s Café & Creperie Address: 201 W Walnut St, Lancaster, PA 17603 Phone number: 717-399-3515 Website: http://www.rachelscreperie.com/ 

Issei Noodles Address: 44 N Queen St, Lancaster, PA 17603 Phone number: 717-449-6800 Website: https://isseinoodle.com/ 

Max’s Eatery Address: 38 W King St, Lancaster, PA 17603 Phone number: 717-984-6286 Website: https://www.maxseatery.com/ 

Prince Street Café Address: 15 N Prince St, Lancaster, PA 17603 Phone number: 717-397-1505 Website: https://princestreetcafe.com/

Sophomore George Cho is a Contributing Writer. His email address is gcho@fandm.edu.

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