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50 Great Ideas 2020

50 Great Ideas 2020

Meals with a soundtrack

A number of restaurant operators, looking to bring the dine-in experience to people’s homes, created on-brand playlists. Red Lobster’s featured romantic tunes for date night, while Zaxby’s created a set of ambient restaurant sounds with titles such as “Friday 9:45 PM.”

The state of California introduced what it called a first-of-its-kind initiative connecting restaurants with elderly people in need of meals.

LA-based chain Everytable set up a help line for senior centers, housebound elderly, school districts and others in need of food to call for delivery of free meals.

Commander’s Palace in New Orleans offered weekly themed wine and cheese collections for delivery. Purchasers then get a guided tasting from the restaurant’s sommelier via Zoom.

Sarah Stegner of Prairie Grass Cafe in Northbrook, Ill., set up a hotline for novice and experienced home cooks to call with questions about recipes, baking and more.

The Darling in Chicago created a takeout meal complete with flowers, Champagne and a QR code that customers could scan to stream a cabaret performance on their phone.

Koval Distillery in Chicago, Short Path Distillery in Boston and others shifted their operations to begin producing hand sanitizer to address the nationwide shortage during the pandemic.

Milwaukee restaurant Lazy Susan offered “restaurant bond” gift cards to be used after the pandemic subsides.

North Palm Beach, Fla., restaurants invited residents in the area via Facebook to order takeout from a different restaurant each night of the week.

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