The restaurant industry has taken a serious beating over these last few weeks due to the ongoing threat of COVID-19. With Americans staying home and practicing self-distancing, restaurants have seen a massive plunge in revenue — many of which have had to close their doors for the time being.
In an effort to support restaurants and restaurant workers across the nation, a coalition of restaurants are starting that they call The Great American Takeout.
Beginning tomorrow, March 24, here’s what everyone can do to support local restaurant and their workers:
Folks are challenged to order at least one delivery or takeout meal to help the struggling restaurant industry.
Encourage others to participate in the upcoming event on social media, using the hashtag #TheGreatAmericanTakeout
Share a photo of your takeout after it arrives with the hashtag #TheGreatAmericanTakeout
Created by a coalition of restaurants that include Panda Express, Panera Bread, Noodles & Company, Jason’s Deli, Veggie Grill, El Torito, California Pizza Kitchen, The Habit, Lemonade, Modern Market, Ike’s Love & Sandwiches, PizzaRev, and Chevys, the group came up with an unconventional way to support their fellow struggling restaurant owners during these trying times.
The movement is a modern day Hands Across America, but with a little more social distancing and chicken wings. The idea is to get the ball rolling in the country’s minds that there are still restaurants open and in need of support in the weeks or months to come. Gotta think of a good spot to support for this tomorrow. Though, there are three meals in the day, right?
Food delivery has taken the country by storm without question, but it comes with plenty of tradeoffs. On the one hand, there’s a lot that being in the restaurant has to offer, including the freshness of the food, that you lose out on. However, being at home and getting the food to come straight to you also provides its conveniences.
By looking at what’s hot and what’s not when it comes to delivery, it’s possible to mitigate the cons and transform the food delivery experience into the jack-of-all-trades we can lifehack it to be. From using our stovetops to saving on water for dishes, there’s plenty of small changes we can make when ordering in that’ll take the experience up to a whole new level.
Here’s a few quick hacks that you can easily pull off the next time you’re ordering delivery.
Reboil Your Broths
When ordering pho or ramen, you want that broth to be piping hot to get the maximum enjoyment out of it. Since it usually arrives at your door slightly cooled down, reheating is the best option here. Microwaves can be pretty uneven with bringing every part of your container to temperature, so bringing it up to a boil on your stove is the way to go. Your tastebuds and stomach will be thanking you.
It may take a while to master this, but if you can time your delivery order so it arrives at home the same time you do, there’s no need to wait. It requires knowing how long your commute home is and how long the delivery will take, but that extra attention to detail will be worth the result.
One of the biggest gripes with delivery is the extra charge all of that rice can stack on. Why pay a huge markup for the starch when you’ve got bags of it in your apartment? Whether you make a couple of cups in the rice cooker or have a microwaveable pouch on standby, it’ll help save a bit of money in the long run.
Take Advantage Of Your Toaster Oven/Air Fryer
Nothing’s worse than when the fries, fried chicken, or other crispy foods show up having lost their crunch. A quick blast in a toaster oven or air fryer, however, is all they need to be revitalized and to enjoy that eruptive texture.
Buying Your Favorite Mains In Bulk
If you’re skipping the rice deliveries as mentioned above, why just get a single order of orange chicken or spicy wings? Stock up on a few, and you won’t have to get delivery so much, reducing those additional fee costs. A few orders at a time means you can save some in the fridge and appropriately reheat them to get your favorite meals on repeat at a better overall price.
Know Who’s Got The Best Deals
Every food delivery app has its strengths and weaknesses, so it’s important to know when to use which for each situation. Chief amongst that is keeping tabs on deals and discounts, which can be ordered via coupon or code. Grubhub and Doordash are your spots for coupons, while Postmates and Ubereats tend to have some helpful codes dropping weekly.
Any Container Can Be A Plate, Too
Dishwashing can always be a chore with delivery, but remember that the serving vessels also make for great plates, too. Even a standard vertical takeout box can be broken down into a functional bowl if you know how to hack it right. Check the above video for clutch a step-by-step guide.
I’ve always wondered about tipping on a takeout order.
Whenever I dine out, I always try to stick to 15 percent. If the service is kick-ass, I’ll go with 20 percent. For delivery, I always tip — resonating back to my pizza boy days. The problem, however, lies in takeout.
For call-in, online, and to-go orders, where I have to drive out and pick up the food I find myself in a grey zone. Tipping for me has always been about the quality of the restaurant dining experience or an employee braving traffic to bring me food. When I go pick up a pizza, my human interaction becomes drastically limited leaving me to wonder if I need to tip at all.
Frankly, I still do tip for take out — although not as high as 15 percent. It’s more like a couple bucks here and there just so that line besides the word “TIP” isn’t blank. Call it Catholic guilt, I guess.
Curious to see if any of my co-workers faced this dilemma, I asked around the office to see if anyone would be willing to share their experiences when it came to takeout orders.
Here’s what the FOODBEAST crew had to say on the matter of takeout tipping:
For me, it depends, to be honest. If I’ve ordered pickup from a phone or over an app, no, I don’t tip, because there’s basically no interaction and I’m just paying for the food. If I’m going to lunch at a nearby restaurant and bringing it back to the office, I may tip, more likely to if the server/cashier is helpful or polite or kind in some way or another that makes the experience better than just calling an order in.
Yes I tip because I don’t wanna be an asshole. Even if it’s a buck for a small order, I tip. If it’s for Postmates or DoorDash or whatever, I sometimes tip. It depends on if the driver does a good job with the delivery.
I’m the opposite of Reach. I always tip for Postmates and DoorDash orders because the I know how complicated my complex is so it’s cool when they’re able to find my place! If I do takeout, I’ll tip if the person helping me is really nice or friendly. And I agree with Elie in that if I do tip for takeout, it’s usually not the standard 20 percent.
At least 15 percent, and if they are nice and personable 20 percent. I worked in the service industry, so I’m probably the exception.
Foodbeast conducted a poll on Twitter asking our followers how they approached takeout tipping. As you can see, a majority of people don’t feel it’s necessary to tip for takeout and if they did, it’s out of some form of guilt.
Do you leave a tip when picking up “take out” or “to go” orders?
At the end of the day, however, it’s your money to do with as you please. There’s no “right” or “wrong” answer when it comes to takeout tipping, just some insight from from fellow human beings who enjoy take out.
We’ve all shoveled down a plate of delicious Chinese food at some point. Most meals are followed by a sweet little fortune cookie that works as a palette cleanser for your salty supper, but also heralds a whimsical fortune and lucky numbers. For one man, those lucky numbers won him $7 million.
According to the Sun Sentinel, Richard Dryer played the numbers provided by a fortune cookie he received at a Chinese restaurant he visited in North Carolina. Typically, Dryer would use the numbers on the Powerball Lottery which is played through multiple states.
However, this time Dryer decided to shake up his routine and play the smaller Florida state lottery… he crushed it. Dryer won the $10 million jackpot and took home a total of $7 million, against 1-in-23 million odds.
Whether Dryer decides to buy more Chinese food with his newfound fortune remains to be seen, though it looks like it’ll always hold a special place in his heart.
So who wants to guess what we’re having for lunch today?