Depending on when this special supplement hits your hands, there might still be no telling what the future of the restaurant business is going to look like. Let's say local eateries are already open again (or are opening soon)—how many of us are prepared to jump back into dining out right up next to people? Social distancing will absolutely play a role, but it still seems like we'll be a nation of takeout eaters for the next little while.
We've all heard by now about how food delivery services are a bunch of crap, and we've also all hopefully heard about how they often don't bother to partner with restaurants so much as they position themselves as a middleman with stolen online menus. Our sources say that if you call up your favorite spot first and say something like "What's the best way for me to go about getting food?", they'll not only tell you, they'll be psyched you tried to work out the best practices for supporting their spot.
Vary it Up
One of our buds who's a server at a very popular restaurant says that while he's always excited to interact with the regulars (especially during the pandemic), he started thinking about his own buds at other restaurants. We get that there's a comfort thing at play here, and we all love what we love, but if you're ordering out a lot (which we totally know is a privilege), try to vary it up. The mantra that's worked for us is "Who do we want to see still open after all this?"
The truth is, the big chain restaurants are probably going to be OK, and even if they're not, this is Santa Fe, dammit! We want our moms and pops to be alright, and we want those places that are even older than us to thrive. So no matter how many times Uber Eats shoves Chipotle in your face, think about the burrito joints within a mile or two or, in the case of El Chile Toreado, a block or two.
As fun as it was to see a mask-less customer step outside of a downtown eatery and sneeze violently into the breeze (we were, luckily, many feet away at the time), the mask rule is no joke. You're going to see employees in masks (it's the law), and even if you're just running someplace in your car real quick for some curbside pickup, have the common courtesy to mask your face. It'll put everyone at ease, say our sources, even if they're only just gingerly placing a bag into your backseat.
Can’t Believe We Have to Say It, But…
There's been no shortage of people on social media whining about how the curbside service at that totally devastated restaurant that just lost employees and probably wishes it could just close and not be ruined wasn't pitch perfect. Well, tough, Karen. In many—if not all—cases, restaurants offering takeout and curbside service are just as stressed as you, understaffed and doing their best to alter their operations. If it's warm food in a box, you're good, trust us.
Can’t Believe We Have to Say This, Either…
For the love of all that is good, tip. If you're in a position to be getting takeout, you're in a position to hand over an extra $2. Enough $2 handed over means some poor kid forced onto the frontlines gets to pay their rent; enough $2 means we'll still have awesome burritos down the road. Just to be clear, we should all be doing all this stuff all the time, but if we're ever going to make it out of this thing without having weird stuff with people who work places, this summer needs to be about accessing our humanity.