Last Call: Gaze in wonder at these restaurants’ clever carry-out solutions

A customer in Bavaria reaches for a Pizza Margherita ejected from a vending machine after about three minutes of baking time.
A customer in Bavaria reaches for a Pizza Margherita ejected from a vending machine after about three minutes of baking time.
Photo: Karl-Josef Hildenbrand/picture alliance (iStock by Getty Images)

By now, even the restaurants that never, ever thought they’d build carry-out into their service model have been boxing up takeout food for months. It’s the only way to stay in the game, especially when government loans come slowly and indoor dining regulations are ever-changing. So, when BuzzFeed published this listicle about all the clever ways that restaurants package up their takeaway food, an article that, last year at this time, would have produced a smile, maybe a chuckle at most, takes on new meaning in January 2021. It’s a testament to the spirit of restaurateurs everywhere, always working to stay one step ahead of crisis and serve a hungry public.

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My favorite solutions are anything that transforms a non-edible part of the carry-out experience into an edible one. For example, the pizza place that uses a garlic knot instead of a plastic pizza saver table, or the restaurant that uses its own beefed-up version of the pizza saver to ferry miniature condiment bottles to the customer. It’s not like anyone pays extra for these perks, as far as I can tell—this is just how good the folks who run your favorite restaurant are at showing you they care. Any spots in your neighborhood deserve a shoutout for their ingenuity?

Marnie Shure is editor in chief of The Takeout.

DISCUSSION

ahintz
Ticallion The Baptist

Picked up some barbecue from a nearby place on Sunday. They have a take out window on the back of the building with a 15 - foot conveyor belt attached to it so you don't come anywhere near the workers for curbside orders. Thought it was pretty slick.