Food has always been a source of comfort and community, especially in this tight-knit city of ours. It is a tool that can transcend the many barriers that divide us and foster connectedness in even the most difficult times. And we treasure the chefs, baristas, mixologists, and pastry artists whose craft provides us with such an essential human need.
Many of us work or have worked in this industry – or have someone close to us who does – and we know how razor thin the profit margins can be for restaurant owners during a good month. We know how challenging it can be for the waitstaff, dishwashers, and the folks working the line to make a living and take care of their own health when life is, for the most part, ordinary. We can’t fathom the incredible hardships they are facing now.
In the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, some Buffalonians are torn between their obligation to socially isolate in order to slow the spread of this virus and protect the health of their fellow citizens, and an empathetic desire to support the restaurant community that is so near and dear to our hearts.
Changes are happening rapidly and we at Buffalo Rising are working to stay up to date in order to publish content that is consistent with the directives of our local government, and not encourage readers to engage in activities that go against those directives or endanger their personal well being and that of others.
That being said, it’s hard for many of us in the City of Good Neighbors to resist that urge to band together and support the hardworking folks who need us. And we can still do that, though in a less intimate fashion than we’re used to.
Many of our local restaurants are offering takeout service with advanced precautions to keep business flowing while keeping customers fed and keeping everyone safe. So we’re launching a series featuring some of our favorite local spots where you can order food to go and what dishes they’re recommending. We’ve also got a few tips to keep you and the restaurant staff as safe as possible in the process.
If a restaurant is following the usual health code and all updated directives being handed down by the health department, they’re doing the right thing to protect customers’ health. If you want some reassurance before placing an order, you can always visit the Erie County Department of Health’s website and check an establishment’s record in their food facility inspections database – see here.
If you’re ordering food to be delivered by the restaurant or a courier service like GrubHub, keep in mind that the risk of picking up the virus is higher for the driver delivering your food than it is for you, so follow procedures that protect both of you. Include your tip for the delivery person in your electronic transaction if possible. Ask the delivery person to leave the food outside your door, and if you’re leaving a cash tip, do the same for them to avoid a hand-to-hand transaction.
And, as always, wash your hands throughout every step of the process. Then, wash them again.
If you have a favorite restaurant and want to know if they’re continuing service and what their new procedures are, give them a call or check their websites and social media. Keep an eye on our website and social media for featured restaurants and updates.