People keep telling me–especially on this new Wednesday #takeoutday– that they just ordered dinner in “to support the restaurant industry in these difficult times.”
“That’s great!” I say, dutifully. But what I’m thinking is: why cloak your hunger in moral rectitude? I mean, when I go to the liquor store I don’t tell people I’m doing it to support the government.
Face it. Most people who are regularly ordering in all these newly available top tier dinner options nowadays are the exact same people who before the coronavirus were dining out at the same sorts of places. And their primary motivations have not changed: they like good food, can afford it, and don’t know how to cook all that well.
That’s all fine. In fact, good restaurants coast to coast–and Canada’s 100 Best, too–are counting on this not changing. But if you also really do care about these restaurants that improve your quality of life, are distraught about the state of the industry, and want to help, there are a few things you must know, and some rules you should follow.
To begin: forget about Uber Eats. If you live in Toronto and order a posh meal from that convenient app you are not helping the industry–you’re helping Uber Eats. The company skims roughly 30% of the bill. After food costs, labour costs, rent and everything else, that leaves the restaurant that made your dinner with…well, nothing.
If you know that and feel better about using Uber when you tick their supplemental $2 restaurant donation box, stop it. Good self-respecting restaurants don’t want to be treated like charities; they just want to be paid fairly for what they do.
They have a marginally better chance of realising that right if you buy dinner here via another app, like Foodora and Skip the dishes (15-20%) or Door Dash (nearer 10%). But if you really want to help the industry and a favourite local restaurant there is only one sensible way to go about it. Yes, you must leave the sofa and fetch your pre-ordered dinner from your preferred restaurant direct, yourself. Please do it.
Stay safe–and don’t stop eating well.
Editor in Chief
(GOOD) FOOD NEWS
St. Lawrence is satisfying Vancouver’s Québécois cravings with a weekly changing curbside pickup meal that spans house favourites from paté-en-croûte to tarte au sucre. A portion of its $47 cost goes to the Union Gospel Mission, servicing the downtrodden Downtown Eastside.
Bridgette Bar is offering curbside pickup from Wednesday to Sunday of pre-ordered meal boxes packing comfort foods from meatballs to garlic bread and cacio e pepe popcorn. The menu changes weekly.
Biera has launched to-go boxes that include items like cheese and cured meats from their preferred suppliers to house-made sourdough, kefir-butter and rose-hip sambal. Plus a 750 ml bottle of suds from their brewery, Blind Enthusiasm.
Anyone with a hankering for superlative Japanese cuisine is advised to ring Shoushin for a beautiful fix called BaraZushi Gozen–a three-course, three-tiered sushi extravaganza that includes toro, monkfish liver, uni, wheat-smoked beltfish and Japanese kuruma-ebi. (Tune in next week for an up-close look at the delivery offer from Sushi Masaki Saito).
Each Wednesday at Chelsea Quebec’s venerable Les Fougères chef Yannick Lasalle will be offering a comfort food of the week. $25 three-course meals are available for pickup Thursday to Saturday. So too numerous offerings from their gourmet store–and free soup for the needy.
Restaurant Moccione launches its takeout program this Thursday (April 30), offering a shortened menu of house favourites for pick up or delivery from Thursday to Sunday.
Bar Kismet’s Annie Brace-Lavoie and Jenner Cormier are putting together make-at-home pasta dinner kits enhanced with a starter and a dessert. Pre-sold via their website on Wednesdays they are available for pick up.
STUFF WE LOVE
#CanadasBiggestTipJar gives Canadians a chance to support local bartenders impacted by the Covid-19 crisis. The virtual tip jar kicks off with an initial donation of $45,000 from Fireball Whisky, with additional “tips” being matched up to $75,000. 100% of all funds will be distributed directly to out of work bartenders through the Canadian Professional Bartenders Association. Bring meaning to your Zoom cocktail hour and fundraise/donate here.
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