There is no question that the coronavirus pandemic has drastically impacted the restaurant industry. While some restaurants have regrettably shut down, others are thriving despite the setbacks. We asked some of Fort Worth’s favorite grab-and-go-meal businesses how they are doing and what they have in store for the holidays.
Charissa Christopher of Feastivities
“First, there is no catering. We have taken a hit with this because people have not been gathering is large groups like before. Food costs are higher and there are added expenses for packaging, masks, and similar inventory to accommodate the necessary sanitation protocols. Because of this, you really must make every penny work.”
Like other restaurants in Fort Worth, Feastivities has been challenged to adapt to the change brought on by the global pandemic. Unlike dine-in restaurants, Charissa emphasized how they are lucky to be a grab-and-go establishment from the start. She says that made the transition easier. Along with reconstructing their menus, they added thoughtfully prepared meal care-packages for loved ones in need.
As for the holidays, Charissa shared that they will offer ready-to-go entertaining trays for intimate gatherings.
“During this time, we aim to help make things simpler, more joyful, and festive. Despite the everything, we have a lot to celebrate.”
Natalie Brown of Lettuce Cook: Gourmet on the Go
“Honestly, we started out as a grab-and-go business. But now, that concept is on steroids.”
Lettuce Cook has focused on grab-and-go meals from the very start. Natalie stated it is a privilege to offer moral support to fellow businesses and to pull-together as a community to help others stay afloat.
In spite of the uncertainty created by the pandemic, Nancy and her husband Todd remain positive and are opening a second location on Bluebonnet Traffic Circle in October.
“People think we’re crazy, but we take heart in knowing that this isn’t going to last forever.” Natalie shared.
In addition, the couple looks forward to offering traditional and customized Thanksgiving/Christmas meals for families, as well as business catering.
Katherine Sasser of Hurley House
“We are fortunate to have a drive-through window. It was our saving grace and without it, I am not sure we would have survived lockdown. It has provided a way for us to continue to connect with our customers, have vulnerable conversations, and be a source for what was for some the only human contact they’d have.”
Katherine explained that while Hurley House’s indoor seating area remains closed to the public, they transformed the space into a temporary test kitchen for the business as well as for her personal blog and hospitality podcast. For the holidays, Hurley House looks forward to offering their popular items such as enchiladas and cinnamon rolls to their customers. Until things return to normal, the dining area will remain closed to the public, but they will continue to serve their faithful customers through their drive-through window.
Callie Salls of Meyer & Sage
“We have needed to ramp-up everything. Hire more help and order more packaging. Some families have needed to order more during the week, while others have had the liberty to be home more to cook, which is a wonderful thing.”
Callie feels optimistic. Natalie Brown of Lettuce Cook is a friend; they text each other every day with support and encouragement. They check-in and strategize the navigation of running a restaurant in the middle of a global pandemic.
Callie shared that Meyer & Sage has seen a wave of support from their customers and that has meant everything to her.
For the holidays, Meyer & Sage looks forward to offering a slew of delights like charcuterie boards, party boards, and amazing side dishes to compliment your Thanksgiving feast.
Fort Worth is a laboratory for culinary pioneers who have pivoted to cope with the health requirements brought on by the novel coronavirus pandemic. Whether they are prepping weeknight dinners or filling our Thanksgiving tables, their efforts are a source of nourishment not only for the body, but also for the soul. Let us celebrate in gratitude the part they play in our day-to-day lives and continue to support these amazing small businesses.
Gretta Hendricks is a multidisciplinary creative who has been a chocolatier, baker, birth-doula, performance artist, and freelance writer, although her favorite job to-date has been becoming a first-time mama to her beautiful rainbow baby, Ofelia, born in January of 2020. Gretta has enjoyed writing for as long as she can remember and is passionately interested in the ways she can both learn and share from the art of storytelling. Alongside her husband and daughter, she loves living in and exploring Fort Worth as well as pouring into her church and local community.