We're seeing lots email and social media messages from Orlando area restaurants promoting their upgraded deep-cleaning practices and touch-free routines, all to demonstrate the safety of takeout and delivery orders.
It's easy for some online commenters to glibly ask, "Weren't they cleaning their kitchens before this?" – but we all know what's really on people's minds during the coronavirus shelter-in-place era, and clean kitchens are a smart marketing strategy right now.
Most of Orlando's hungry hunkerers wonder first about price, followed closely by whether our prospective choice of noshery employs a team of people who care about food safety.
With this in mind, one local Hawaiian poké chain is offering to show you exactly how they keep their "100% no-contact food prep guarantee."
Screenshot via Kona Poké/Facebook
Kona Poké, which is included in Orlando Weekly's new searchable "Good To-Go Orlando" directory of takeout and delivery restaurants, has three locations in Central Florida, and wants you to know that absolutely no one will be touching your food.
From taking employees' temperatures before each shift to wearing new pairs of gloves for every order, workers are even asked to sign their name on your bag with a Sharpie and the words "No Contact Guarantee."
Of course they make a big deal out of hand washing, but the emphasis here is on process, including sealing up the order and bringing it out to your car. You can check out the video below, but Kona is far from the only place going to great lengths to keep their kitchens clean right now.
Mooyah Burgers, Fries & Shakes, for one, is taking orders through their rewards app and website, and offering free delivery for orders of $10 or more until March 31.
Guests who order 4 Rivers Smokehousefood online can then pick it up at their "pop-up" drive-through locations. Guests of the Coop can order in advance too, with streamlined menus to include some of the most popular items. Both 4 Rivers and the Coop are offering free delivery on all catering within a 20-mile radius of a store, with no minimum order.
Restaurants are no more likely to give you coronavirus than they were to give you food poisoning a month ago. In fact, due to heightened awareness of hand-washing and other COVID-19 prevention steps, restaurants that already followed food-safety standards are arguably safer than ever before.
Unlike grocery stores, with packed aisles of shoppers coughing precariously closely to grocery store workers, restaurants have no dine-in guests to serve right now, essentially converting to takeout kitchens, and are able to focus every bit of energy on sourcing and preparing meals.
The last challenge is getting you to order. That's why our new guide (that link again) gives you options to avoid apps like UberEats and DoorDash, and to search for places that deliver on their own or offer curbside pickup.