To Go Viral
Of course it takes a global pandemic to bring the Big Easy to its knees but as we all know, the hospitality industry is a pretty resilient bunch of people developing creative ways to keep their customers around. Many of our favorite restaurants were able to adapt to the current "to go" policies which allowed them to continue serving food and of course drink. Since no one could come into establishments any more, take out food stations have become the norm in NOLA and as a special caveat, you can pick up to go wine and cocktails. Yes, we have always had the drive through daiquiri stores--don't judge us here --but we have never had the drive up pickup everywhere.
We captured a few of our favorite places and how they are handling the flow. Zea's has turned into quite the drive through machine with multiple lanes for pickup. You phone your order in with a description of your vehicle and your meal is delivered to you while in the lanes. Our friends at Louisiana Pizza Kitchen Uptown do both pick up and delivery and always have a smile as you wave to them from the front door. Boiled crawfish pickups range from bringing the items to your car or waiting on customer social distancing pads until you can approach the counter. Cowbell has gone totally creative and depending on how much you order, you get fanciful little pictures attached to your "to go" boxes which bring a smile to your face when you open your food. Commander's Palace has ceased "to go" orders but have created a huge Zoom following with their weekly wine and cheese party. Approximately 300 people are on these zoom calls and thankfully we are all muted as we sip away at our pre dinner cocktails.
With the arrival of May 15th and the easing of restrictions at the state level, "To Go" is going to change once again as establishments are allowed to take in customers at 25% capacity. It will be interesting to see how long it takes the Big Easy to be easy again.