Let’s face it: these are a lot of nights in a row to be cooking dinner. I know. But if you’ve ordered (or tried to order) takeout in the past few weeks, like many of us here at Northshore have, you might have been met with an obstacle or two. Order online or call the store? Curbside pickup or walk inside? And don’t get us started on the long wait times and eateries running out of stock.
But keep in mind: restaurant employees are working hard and risking their safety every day, keeping their restaurants afloat and keeping us customers fed. For the sake of these folks providing us with a dinner option that isn’t canned soup, here are some tips to make ordering takeout easier for everyone involved. Then, if you need some restaurant inspiration, check out the list of a few of our favorites.
1) Visit the restaurant’s website. Most restaurants have an online web page that’ll give you details about how the store is functioning right now—what they’re offering, how to place an order, and how to pick it up. A lot of joints are using an online ordering system, easily accessible through their website. Scan their website carefully for any relevant information you’ll need, like pickup instructions, and you’ll likely find it.
2) When in doubt, call. If you can’t find all the information you’re looking for on their website, like how to pay or where/when to pick up your order, give the restaurant a ring. An employee will gladly tell you what you need to know, and you want to know the whole drill to protect your safety and the employees’.
3) Know how to pick up your order. Whether you find out through the site or a phone call, know how you’re grabbing your food before you go. They might run it out to your car curbside, or you might go into the store to pick it up. This reduces confusion and ensures everyone is taking the right safety measures—you don’t want to forget your disinfectant wipes at home only to realize you have to grab the doorknob and head into the store.
4) Order in advance. Another key piece of information you’ll want: how early you should order your dinner. Depending on the restaurant, you might be waiting for your food for hours. Help make the restaurant employees’ lives easier and reduce frustration by checking how far in advance you can place your order, especially if you’re ordering for the whole family. Planning to get takeout on Saturday night? Pick a restaurant and check their website on Thursday to get an idea of how early you can place that order.
5) Don’t forget: tip well! If you can afford to, tip over twenty percent! Many restaurant employees are facing reduced hours and potential job instability amid this economic downturn. A few extra dollars go a long way in showing your support for our local essential service workers.
And here are a few of our favorites:
Ceia, Newburyport: The Italian/French casual bistro in downtown Newburyport is offering a new menu each week—check their socials, @ceiakitchenbar, to stay up to date on their inventive offerings, typically available Thursday through Saturday.
Great Marsh Brewing Co., Essex: Tuesdays through Saturdays, the newly opened brewery on the banks of the Essex River is offering curbside pickup for food, plus online ordering for beer only everyday between noon and 8 p.m.
FRANK, Beverly: The new Beverly hotspot from Boston chef Frank McClelland is offering an extensive online ordering menu including meals, kits, and products like wine and cheese from their market. While you’re ordering, donate a few dollars to help FRANK continue delivering meals to Beverly Hospital.
The Blue Ox, Lynn: The upscale, contemporary eatery in Lynn is serving up some can’t-miss online ordering options: roasted garlic and mushroom risotto, baked brie, pineapple upside down bread pudding, and a pickle martini kit, among other options.