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Last Call: What are some ways to enhance the takeout or food delivery experience?

Illustration for article titled Last Call: What are some ways to enhance the takeout or food delivery experience?
Last CallLast CallLast Call is The Takeout’s online watering hole where you can chat, share recipes, and use the comment section as an open thread. Here’s what we’ve been reading/watching/listening around the office today.

Yesterday, we reported the most delightful story of a brewery in Virginia that’s sending delivery people out bearing six-packs and dressed as Left Shark from Katy Perry’s 2015 Super Bowl halftime performance. People love Left Shark, and people love beer, so it only made sense to wed the two. But this delivery gimmick has some added benefits for the brewery: the costume keeps the delivery person more protected during mandated social distancing, and the stunt nets the brewery an extra $25 whenever customers request it. In times like this, that extra $25 really means something.

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Similarly, Hamburger Mary’s in Chicago has set up Drag Queen Drive Thru, in which your burger is whisked to your car for curbside pickup by a drag queen. Hamburger Mary’s doesn’t appear to be charging extra for this perk, but the novelty keeps the restaurant at the top of customers’ minds and possibly incentivizes them to place orders.

And then, of course, there’s Boober, a Portland-based service employing nearly topless strippers to deliver food from the Lucky Devil Lounge strip club. (They wear pasties, which are the mammary equivalent of a face mask and gloves.) I can’t imagine people went to the Lucky Devil just for the pub grub before COVID-19, but now there’s a reason to order some of its pulled pork for delivery. It also helps keep the strippers employed.

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If necessity is the mother of invention, then the current state of the restaurant industry begs for a burst of ingenuity on the part of owners and employees—and everywhere you look, there are other examples of creativity in the midst of crisis: bonus deliveries of toilet paper and beer, elaborate games with your pizza, donations to charity. Do you have any similarly clever ideas for how to add value to the delivery or takeout experience? Anything that might make supporting local businesses utterly irresistible? Here are some of mine:

  • Boozegrams delivered to your friends and loved ones with a personalized note, like flower delivery
  • Reserve a time slot for a professional curbside yogi to guide you through three minutes of breathing exercises, assuring you in a soothing voice that everything is fine (this isn’t food-related, but oh how I think it could help)
  • Option to have your online orders of staples, such as toiletries and paper towels, delivered straight to your local craft store, where for an additional fee the employees will gift-wrap everything before sending it along to your house for an unboxing party
  • Groceries (non-breakable ones!) dropped off at your door by two babies just learning to walk (it’s a baby race)(okay, fine, I guess this violates child labor laws)(but admit it, that would be fun to watch)(On second thought, it should probably be two puppies pulling small wagons instead)

What’ve you all got?

Marnie Shure is editor in chief of The Takeout.

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DISCUSSION

alittlestitious
ALittleStitious

Our HEB (Texas’ favorite grocery store) is packaging and selling local restaurant’s popular dishes as heat and serve meal kits. 100% of the profits go back to the restaurant. They have delivery and curbside pick up of groceries which has been a literal life saver.