Restaurants increasing delivery services amid COVID-19

Coronavirus

KALAMAZOO, Mich. (WOOD) — Restaurants are expanding or adding takeout and delivery service to try and counter losses from state coronavirus restrictions.

Kazoopy’s Pizza and Grinders on West Main Street in Kalamazoo is making more delivery drivers available for an anticipated increase in demand.

According to General Manager Scott Strawhun, the business is already well equipped to handle takeout service since a state order is restricting people from eating at the restaurant. His delivery business has increased since Gov. Gretchen Whitmer put the order in place.

“We think about our friends that own the dine-in restaurants and surely we want to grow our business and do the best we can but not at the expense of someone else, so it’s mixed emotions,” Strawhun said.

Kalamazoo Downtown Partnership has also set up 16 spots in the central business district for curbside pickup in an attempt to help local restaurants.

Bobby Donelson, a sales consultant with Van Eerden Foodservice, says there is no shortage of food. The company based in Grand Rapids supplies food to Kazoopy’s, along with many other restaurants and stores.

“The restaurants are going to be throwing food away and donating it out to the schools and to the missions,” Donelson said. “We planned for all this sit-down business that is gonna take a hit this week until we adjust.”

He is encouraging people to get carryout food or delivery from their favorite restaurants and says dine-in restaurants will have to adapt during this time.

“If they don’t have takeout already, they need to find a takeout meal replacement type menu that they can continue to provide,” Donelson said. “That’s going to be the saving grace because people will still be looking for and need food.”

Grubhub driver Dan Wilkinson expects to be busier because of the need for more deliveries during the coronavirus pandemic.

“They have something called ‘no contact delivery’ where I can leave the food at the door and then just let the person know that it’s there, so they can come out and get it,” Wilkinson said.

He is hoping deliveries and takeout can reduce layoffs at restaurants that primarily focus on dine-in service.

“If you can still order, it’s still keeping business coming from the restaurants,” Wilkinson said.


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