Although I have upped my chef skills while staying-at-home, there are still times when we prefer to let the professional restaurant chefs provide. Besides, donâ€™t we all want them to have business so they will be there when this lockdown is over?
I do feel for the restaurant servers who were suddenly out of work. When (or if) they return to work, even a boatload of 20% tips will not make up for their days of unemployment. And if the restaurant is only permitted to be half full, will we each have to tip 40%?
Some servers are still working at the restaurants, as I discovered when I went for pickup at a local restaurant. A line of masked order-getters, looking like a well-behaved crew of bandits, stood six feet apart from each other outside the door of the restaurant.
Someone came out, someone moved in and each masked food bandit moved closer to the entrance. Once inside, I gave my name and a server ran to the kitchen to get my order, which was ready. I paid the bill and away I went. I did use an alcohol wipe on my hands when I got the food settled in the car. I figured the restaurant door I opened and the pen I signed my check with were both possibilities for a vagabond virus.
I even used curbside pickup at one local restaurant. I called them on arrival and out the server came with my food. Reminded me of long ago when we parked our car in a space at the drive-in restaurant, ordered a burger and fries through a speaker, and soon out rolled a server delivering the food in a tray you attached to your open driver side window. At this pickup, however, it was two masked strangers in the night, exchanging glances and a bag of hot food.
Then there are days when Iâ€™m just too lazy to even drive out for food. Preparing breakfast, taking a shower, reading email, watching YouTube videos, posting to Facebook, and checking stock reports on TV all take time and fill a day. This stay-at-home routine can be very demanding.
So home delivery becomes an option. Being analytical, I had to research my options. (Introverts study, consider, and look before they leap. Then, they reflect on the leap and might tell you about it. Extroverts leap and tell you about it as they are leaping. Then, they immediately tell you about the leap they just took.)
I looked up the various home delivery services, how they worked, and what they charged. I signed up for all of them. On their sites, I reviewed restaurant menus and checked delivery times. Since some delivery times were 60 minutes, you have to order long before you want to eat. None of those spontaneous off-the-menu decisions.
Surprisingly, it actually worked. The food was delivered to my door in the time frame they said it would take. My biggest fear was that the food would be cold but, in fact, the food I ordered arrived hot. And the restaurant included napkins and plastic cutlery, so I didnâ€™t even have to dirty my own dishes.
One of the best parts was being able to go to my computer and watch the driverâ€™s car move along the home delivery serviceâ€™s map. I am easily amused.
Obviously, it was more expensive than picking up the order. Thereâ€™s a service fee and you still have to tip the driver. But the total cost was probably on a par with what you pay when you sit in the restaurant.
The menu is electronic rather than something you could hold in your hands, but the food was the same as if I were sitting at a table in the restaurant. I did have to make my own iced tea, but if I wanted wine, using my own would be much less expensive that the wine in the restaurant. I also had to bus my own table, but that was a matter of dropping the containers in the recycle bin.
So, we have groceries, we have food to cook, and food to be brought in. Eating is not an issue for us. I just hope our toilet paper holds out.