Restaurants Get Creative in Response to COVID-19 Shutdowns

Just because you have a stocked pantry and refrigerator, that doesn’t mean you actually want to cook a meal, or do those dishes.

By Lauren Jackson March 23, 2020

Amore converted an unused kitchen door into an impromptu drive-through window.

You’re probably stuck at home, likely with a huge cache of groceries that you had to fight through crowds for. But while you may have a lovely selection of ingredients for aspirational at-home meals, that doesn’t mean you actually want to make them, or do those dishes. What you’re craving is a meal, lovingly prepared for you by anyone other than you. But what about social distancing? That’s a problem many local restaurants are solving for you. Here are some options:

Gecko’s Grill & Pub

All six Gecko’s locations, plus its affiliate, Smack’s Burgers & Shakes, have entered into a new partnership with Bite Squad. The company has shied away from third party delivery services in the past, but in rapid response to suspended service, Gecko's reached out to Bite Squad to launch the new deal. When asked about the decision to offer delivery, a spokesperson for Gecko’s responded, “This is an extraordinary move designed to respond to our community’s challenges and guests’ needs in this challenging time, as well as continue our efforts to protect the jobs of our employees, who are our family.” And speaking of employees as family, Gecko’s is also extending a 40 percent discount to all service industry employees with the display of a paystub. This means a severely affected niche of workers has an opportunity to save money while enjoying a small treat. Asked why the company is offering the deal, owner Mike Quillen says, simply, “Because we want to help people.”


Tucked away in the historic Burn’s Court neighborhood, Amore is taking advantage of the quiet streets and offering drive-through service for their guests. After seeing a huge loss in business, and ultimately a government-mandated suspension of in-house dining for the entire state, owners Tito and Liana Vitorino pivoted their business model to take advantage of a small kitchen door located on the side of their restaurant. Guests can pull right up to the door and pick up the food they’ve ordered from an abbreviated menu with lowered prices. According to the couple, the average consumer spends $10 at a fast food drive-through, so, for a few extra dollars, why not bring home something extraordinary? With pasta offerings for $18 and a rack of lamb special for only $25, extraordinary is well within reach.

Crow’s Nest

On the northern tip of the island of Venice, the Crow’s Nest is used to dealing with diners searching for the best panoramic ocean view. However, avid boaters have known for years that the Crow’s Nest offers one of the best cheeseburgers in town, one that can be easily enjoyed to-go and on your boat. Crow’s Nest is now taking advantage of its stellar reputation and offering delivery, takeout and curbside to landlubbers as well with a 20 percent discount applied specifically to curbside, so get out there and get that burger.

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