Here’s a clever idea for those of you living in high-rise buildings: get a coordinator to organize regular (e.g., weekly or twice per week) deliveries from local restaurants you love. Have them drop it off at a known location in the building, and pick it up for reheating.

Tips:

  • You’ll need to coordinate payment from residents. You can use Venmo, for instance, or good old fashioned checks. I strongly suggest you get first three payments and commitment ahead of time. Get their email addresses or better yet, put their cellphone SMS numbers in a platform like GroupMe for easy group texting.
  • All resident concerns should be directed to the restaurant, not to the coordinator. (But tell them to go easy! It is, after all, a global pandemic.)
  • Perhaps you can rotate it to a few favorite restaurants.
  • I suggest you keep it simple — e.g., a main dish, a salad, a vegetable, or some such. Or consider Asian food — chicken chow mein, vegetable fried rice, egg rolls, and/or some popular favorites. Think like an airline… but with fantastic food.
  • Strongly suggest you pre-plan in three week increments, and call to confirm with restaurants ahead of time on dates. Your first call would simply be to ask which date(s) are best for such a plan and to confirm a menu, and your second call would be after the total is locked up. Generally restaurants can scale the order up or down 20% without too much impact even an hour beforehand.
  • Note that your favorite restaurants might be changing their hours/days of operation; these are changing times. Don’t assume they’ll be open — confirm it.

You’ll be a building hero if you do this, and you’ll make friends at the restaurants you patronize.

This kind of regular commitment greatly helps restaurants with much-needed revenue and staffing planning. It makes the delivery itself relatively low-traffic, rather than a bunch of individual delivery runs, and everyone gets a delicious and relatively effort-free meal. You’ll be doing a big favor to the local establishments you love.

#bigthanks to the poster on the Seattle Restaurant Support group for the innovative idea.

Feel free to use the replies to this blog post as a public place to coordinate, if you’d like.

Author

I've lived in Seattle since 1991, and held jobs at Microsoft, Expedia and my own few startups. I've taught a class on innovation at the UW Foster School of Business. I love Seattle and the greater Puget Sound region. I've got a wife, three kids and a dog, who, other than me, is by far the most difficult member of the household.

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