Seattle fine-dining restaurant Canlis is making lemonade from lemons as the restaurant industry reels from the global coronavirus pandemic. Starting March 16, the Pacific Northwest-inspired, 68-year-old restaurant is pivoting its entire business model: temporarily closing its dining room and offering instead three new virtual restaurants: bagels to-go in the morning, burgers and sandwiches available via a drive thru in the afternoon and meal delivery in the evening.
The restaurant announced the initiative on social media, saying that it is the only “team wild enough to try this.”
“Times are changing and so are we, for now,” the announcement on Canlis’ website said. “We’re shutting down our dining room and bringing the food out to you.”
The Bagel Shed, which will offer bagels, spreads, breakfast sandwiches, and coffee, will be available Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. until 11 a.m.; Drive On Thru will offer burgers, veggie melts, salads and ice cream sandwiches on weekdays from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.; and Family Meal Delivered will deliver meals and a bottle of wine to customers Monday through Friday from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.
The delivery zone will be approximately a seven-mile radius around the restaurant, and the menu will change daily, Canlis confirmed via Facebook. Until Monday, the restaurant will still be open and operating as usual.
Although the Canlis business model pivot is an unusually extreme reaction to the coronavirus issue, other restaurants are responding in kind by offering more delivery options for customers who don’t want to risk going out to eat.
Restaurant group Charlie Palmer Collective announced in a letter to customers that, while its 19 restaurants remain open, it has initiated a robust to-go program, with many dishes at most of its restaurants available outside of the restaurant.
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