Family packed lunches are one of the great success stories of 2020.
Three months after restaurants started offering takeout deals for two, four or six people during a pandemic, party dinners aren’t going away.
They are safe and convenient for the elderly who stay at home or for families with a children’s van. And – this is important – they are good.
Bonnell’s The $ 40 take-out dinners for four are some of the best take-out ever. Chief Lanny Lancarte IIthe restaurant of, Fair foods, transformed an exceptional special offer into a new delivery service, Eat fajitas.
âCustomers with families always stay home for dinner,â said Christina lerma elbitar of Chadra Mezza and Grill, a Mediterranean restaurant in Park Place Village near hospitals and the Fort Worth Zoo.
Chadra has table service on her back patio, but take out remains the big seller.
Evening specials include a family pack on Thursdays with Chadra’s best-selling âHeavenly Chicken,â a Stuffed Chicken Alfredo with vegetables and salad, for $ 50; or chicken or shawarma skewers on Saturdays for $ 55.
Some restaurants carefully package take-out meals. Some don’t. Chadra’s dinners are carefully packaged and microwave safe, so a couple or small family can save half for another night.
Chadra has sold more than 800 family packs, Elbitar said, including dinners for tired medical workers to take home for families.
âOur customers always ask for them,â Elbitar said.
Obviously, family packs have been around for a long time.
Lately barbecue restaurants like Coker’s Pit Bar-BQ, Bone barbecue, Smokehouse at the head of the train and Robinson’s Bar-B-Que found new customers for their family packed lunches sold from secure windows.
Rufus bar and grill in Cityview, which opened during the pandemic, gained new business by selling Woodrich “Billy Oaks”Chicken fried steak or chicken fried chicken family dinners for $ 40. Burgers, tacos, and wings cost less.
And At Joe T. GarcÃa packed her old fashioned family style jumpsuit or take out fajita dinners.
For the owners of Chadra, it was a difficult turning point between running a restaurant, two small meal counters in the workplace, and catering to a new business model based on take-out.
Restaurants that didn’t have online ordering at the start struggled with the load of phone calls, with each customer asking, “What’s on the menu?” “
Restaurants offering menus or online orders sometimes struggled with the unpredictable pace of orders.
Chadra added website control early.
âThe number of phone calls and orders through the various media has been overwhelming,â Elbitar said.
“It was the most difficult transition.”
Chadra now maintains five versions of her menu on different websites and apps in various formats. And that doesn’t even count the time spent applying for small business grants, loans, and federal paycheck protection funding.
âWe are grateful to the customers who continue to provide us with the support necessary to keep our restaurant afloat,â Elbitar said.
The popular pizza and pasta buffet table is gone, at least throughout the year. (All-you-can-eat buffets are prohibited because they are dangerous.)
But Chadra’s patio still serves plenty of âheavenly chicken,â kebabs, and salads for lunch and dinner.
It is open for lunch and dinner from Wednesday to Saturday; 1622 Park Place avenue, 817-926-3992, chadramezza.com.
This story was originally published 8 June 2020 5.45 am.