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they were ready to offer food again. “Everybody’s pretty excited. We’ve had a lot of loyal customer

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Tuesday, May 12, 2020

 they were ready to offer food again. “Everybody’s pretty excited. We’ve had a lot of loyal customers back already and the response on Facebook has been very positive. … We’re pretty happy

Restaurants transition to takeout only

By Jenn Watt


Baked and Battered had only just reopened from their winter hiatus in March when the coronavirus pandemic hit and Premier Doug Ford ordered all restaurant dining areas closed.


Deciding whether to go forward offering takeout only was difficult for the owners Colby Marcellus and Craig Gordon, who had to weigh not only the financial side but also that of logistics, health and safety, and what was best for staff.


“We were worried if we went to a takeout model we wouldn’t have enough hours for our staff and they would have been better off on the government programs at that time,” Marcellus said.


Baked and Battered opened from their winter hiatus on March 3. They closed again March 20. On Wednesday, May 13 they’re opening once again, but this time with takeout only, taking orders by phone and online.


“People can go onto our website, hit the ‘order online’ button, and then that will take them to a full list of our menu options … they’re able to pay for the order online … when they come to us, they’ll come to our window and we’ll have everything boxed up and ready to go,” he said.


They’ll be using the takeout window they initially had installed for ice cream, but never used. Now it will be a key component of their new way of operating.


They are offering most of their normal menu to accommodate people who have been missing culinary variety over the last several weeks.


“Folks seem to be really excited. We’re hearing people are getting tired of eating their own food,” Marcellus laughed.


The process has been tricky and stressful, he said, but with programs available now to help small businesses and the long weekend on the horizon, the time seemed right. 


“I think a lot of business owners are recognizing the opportunity here to try to salvage something of the shoulder season at least,” Marcellus said.


Last week, Kosy Korner restaurant reopened for takeout after being closed since mid-March. Owner Ann Gordon described the day they closed as a surreal experience.


“It was an interesting day because the Liars Club [a group of regulars] was in there, so there were six or seven of them, and we got the announcement from Doug Ford to say restaurants will no longer be able to seat people and literally we had three tables and the Liars Club and we were just waiting for them to leave and then we closed the doors. We were closed by 11 o’clock that morning. It was kind of surreal,” she said.


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