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Restaurants - What are They Doing to Survive?

Updated: Jun 5, 2020

The Diners in the Plastic Bubble

Not to be confused with the film with John Travolta that was the butt of many a late-night joke, this restaurant in the Netherlands is serving couples inside of greenhouses on their patio. While it is inside the restaurant where the real threat of infection lies, we appreciate the aesthetic of these dining ‘houses’.

Groceries & Selling Raw Ingredients

Kaiju, a neighborhood haunt in Louisville popular for its cabaret space in the back of the bar where music and comedy prevail, kept its revenue to 75% of normal by converting the bar into a grocery selling essentials during the mandated shutdown. While fine dining and steakhouses opted to sell raw ingredients, like restaurant quality filet mignon, direct to customers instead of cooked delivery.


Kentucky laws changed allowing restaurants to sell alcohol for delivery direct to customers. Nevada also now allows bars to sell delivery alcohol in the wake of COVID-19. While great news for restaurants, bad news for distributors. Could the mandated private/public distribution networks be permanently affected? Mayhaps.

While alcohol delivery seemed like a boon at first, it is still inconvenient compared to simply picking up a six-pack at the grocery store. Restaurant owners and managers can cut the prices on booze to compete, but not enough to match grocery prices.

New COVID Conscious Brands

Restaurateurs are getting creative on how to address the “new normal” and stay in their chosen industry. An idea that gained traction in the early days of stay-at-home orders - pop-up restaurant brands. How this works is established restaurant groups develop original brands on the fly that offer only delivery or curbside menus.

Why a new brand? We see the logic; new = exciting AND doesn’t oblige a restaurant to serve their current menu, which may be too expensive or not delivery friendly.

This may be temporary solution that fizzles out once a vaccine arrives OR we could be looking at a new business model with staying power.

New models will come and go as we test new market conditions, but no doubt demand will return. In the meantime, place an order at your favorite restaurant offering delivery tonight and give your delivery driver a little love (in the form of money).

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