Some 24 states, along with major cities in a 25th (Texas), have closed their bars and restaurants in response to the spread of the coronavirus. In addition, some restaurants in states that haven’t imposed a ban have voluntarily closed. In all cases, though, the shutdowns apply only to in-house dining. The restaurants have the option of remaining open for takeout and delivery service if they desire.
While this obviously means dramatic drops in revenue for the affected establishments, many restaurants feel that it’s better than nothing, not only as a source of income (no matter how limited) but also to allow them to keep at least some of their employees on the payroll and to serve their customers. Here’s what you need to know about the coronavirus and America’s restaurants.
Of course, many eating places have been providing takeout and/or delivery all along — among them sushi bars, Chinese restaurants, pizzerias, and delis. But the new situation has posed challenges for more upscale restaurants, and especially those that ordinarily serve rarified tasting menus, where presentation is often almost as important as flavor.
Surprisingly, though, a number of high-end places — including some with three stars from the Guide Michelin, generally considered the restaurant world’s highest accolade — have figured out a way to keep selling food to the public. These include some of the best restaurants in America.
In most cases, such places are able to do this by eschewing fancy creations based on luxury ingredients in favor of sandwiches, salads, and various kinds of comfort food. This gives diners the opportunity to patronize ordinarily pricey temples of gastronomy at bargain prices (in most cases, though a few places don’t offer that much of a price break), even if the food isn’t exactly the same.
24/7 Tempo has consulted the websites of more than a hundred top-rated restaurants around the country to discover which ones are now offering food to go. Further information was gleaned from a list of restaurants with takeout and/or delivery programs on the online reservation site Resy.
Some of the restaurants on this list provide their takeout and/or delivery options through the prepaid-ticket restaurant site Tock. In certain cases, the meals offered have sold out, but there is always a waiting list.