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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I've just bought a takeout from a restaurant as dining in is prohibited again in my city.

It's a very fancy restaurant, the kind of restaurant you pay more than $100 for two people.

The online takeout schedule was every 15 minutes. When I arrived, I was surprised to notice there were about 7 other cars waiting for their takeout and we all got served in 5 minutes as other cars came by for their takeout.

The COVID situation may be very hard for most restaurants, but from my experience of that specific restaurant, they may actually make even more money, no? Since we takeout, there's no limit of capacity for the restaurant. Its limit is now only driven by its ability to deliver.

Any thoughts?
 

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The COVID situation may be very hard for some restaurants, but from my experience of that restaurant, they may actually make even more money, no? Since we takeout, there's no limit of capacity for the restaurant. Its limit is now only driven by its ability to deliver.

Any thoughts?
Yeah, I think some restaurants will handle the transition to takeout better than others for sure, in modifying their menus and/or packaging up their food. A couple of places we drive by can't keep up with the takeout and always have a throng of people waiting for their orders. But I think it's way more the exception than the rule. Some dishes/cooking techniques don't taste great after even 10-15 minutes of transport. Restaurants in the downtown core are likely suffering from the lack of office traffic. I also think it's going to be a tougher slog for restaurants that rely on other factors beyond food quality like alcohol sales and experience/service/presentation. And of course, the waitstaff get hit the hardest.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Yeah, I think some restaurants will handle the transition to takeout better than others for sure, in modifying their menus and/or packaging up their food. A couple of places we drive by can't keep up with the takeout and always have a throng of people waiting for their orders. But I think it's way more the exception than the rule. Some dishes/cooking techniques don't taste great after even 10-15 minutes of transport. Restaurants in the downtown core are likely suffering from the lack of office traffic. I also think it's going to be a tougher slog for restaurants that rely on other factors beyond food quality like alcohol sales and experience/service/presentation. And of course, the waitstaff get hit the hardest.
You are right. Only a few exceptions will be able to get through it.

Me and my spouse were thinking of making "donations" to local places we use to go regularly. We were thinking that if people can continue encouraging their favorite local places, hopefully they wouldn't disappear due to this COVID situation.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
restaurants that rely on other factors beyond food quality like alcohol sales and experience/service/presentation.
The big problem is that such restaurants make most of their profit on liquor and wine sales. Takeout just keeps the lights on.
Very good point. When I went for the takeout, I was actually telling myself that I had the advantage to buy great food while saving on alcohol. But that's true, if I'm saving on alcohol, that means they're losing on alcohol, and losing big.
 

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I've just bought a takeout from a restaurant as dining in is prohibited again in my city.

It's a very fancy restaurant, the kind of restaurant you pay more than $100 for two people.

The online takeout schedule was every 15 minutes. When I arrived, I was surprised to notice there were about 7 other cars waiting for their takeout and we all got served in 5 minutes as other cars came by for their takeout.

The COVID situation may be very hard for most restaurants, but from my experience of that specific restaurant, they may actually make even more money, no? Since we takeout, there's no limit of capacity for the restaurant. Its limit is now only driven by its ability to deliver.

Any thoughts?
... do (the takeouts) or die.
 

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Look at what they save by keeping the dining areas closed, in not having waiters, waitresses, bus boys, cleaners, etc.
I should think if they sell as many meals they make the same money or more.
 

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One restaurant on the news two nights ago, says that operating with just takeout led to 90% less revenue. From I know they operate on thin margins and most fail, even during normal times. take out and winter are gonna kill many more restaurants and bars.
 

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^ Still need to pay the cooks/chefs, rent, taxes (all forms) plus take-out materials ain't free either. Yet they lose that portion of dine-in revenue that would have cover these expenses. This is provided that they still have insurance coverage ... ie out of business if no insurance.
 

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The big problem is that such restaurants make most of their profit on liquor and wine sales. Takeout just keeps the lights on.
Some years back, when I worked as an auditor with a public accounting firm, we had the audit for an outfit called Versafoods. Among other things, it operated a restaurant then called the 54th Dining Room on the 54th floor of the TD tower in Toronto. Also on the 54th floor was the Safari Lounge, also operated by Versa. The Safari was a bar and made its money pouring drinks. Both operated on an accounting system that divided the year into 13 periods. The dining room lost money in almost every period, even though it was selling alcohol ancillary to meals. The bar, on the other hand, made a decent profit every period. It supported the dining room.

What I observed about the profitability of bars and restaurants then would not be unusual today I don't suppose. So I agree with kcowan that heavy reliance on take-out is not likely to keep many operations afloat for long. Even though there may be some savings in terms of staff needed to run the place, the loss of alcohol sales will still lead to insolvency for many.
 

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Look at what they save by keeping the dining areas closed, in not having waiters, waitresses, bus boys, cleaners, etc.
I should think if they sell as many meals they make the same money or more.
Booze sales are a huge part of most restaurant's profits.
 

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The social apps for delivery like Skip the Dishes also take a big cut out of the sales.

I order pickup takeout from a friend who owns a Chinese restaurant so she can save the additional cost.

Their dining room is open but empty of customers. They lost all their big reception business. Most people still aren't dining in large gatherings.

They are busy for 2 hours a night and that is it, so they open late and close early.

Fortunately for them it is a family run business and they have owned the restaurant and property for decades.

They will likely survive but it is a different business now.
 

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In my opinion if you use Skip the Dishes you might as well skip the whole thing. You are probably not doing the restaurant any favours. They take around 30% when last I heard. No restaurant has 30% profit margins. They would be lucky to have 15% when the restaurant is full. They do tend to raise their Skip the Dshes prices a bit compared to the regular menu, but still the take by these services is way too high.

In my opinion, I pay the prices these restaurants wanted for the enjoyment of dining in the restaurant. The going out experience. Once you take that away, and Covid-19 certainly did for me, their prices are just too high. As for paying them as a donation. That is a nice gesture but certainly not sustainable, so I pass on that. Keep in mind that 10 years from now, I have no doubt we will have the same number of restaurants and bars, in our communities, most in the same places we have now, probably selling the same stuff we are offered now. Unfortuneately many of the bar and restaurant owners will be different, many of which buying their new business from the banks after they foreclosed on the current owners. Someone else probably got their house. Poor guys.

Certainly my sympathies go out to these hard working business owners but my money is unlikely to save them. Their problem is just too big.
 

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In my opinion if you use Skip the Dishes you might as well skip the whole thing. You are probably not doing the restaurant any favours. They take around 30% when last I heard. No restaurant has 30% profit margins. They would be lucky to have 15% when the restaurant is full. They do tend to raise their Skip the Dshes prices a bit compared to the regular menu, but still the take by these services is way too high.

In my opinion, I pay the prices these restaurants wanted for the enjoyment of dining in the restaurant. The going out experience. Once you take that away, and Covid-19 certainly did for me, their prices are just too high. As for paying them as a donation. That is a nice gesture but certainly not sustainable, so I pass on that. Keep in mind that 10 years from now, I have no doubt we will have the same number of restaurants and bars, in our communities, most in the same places we have now, probably selling the same stuff we are offered now. Unfortuneately many of the bar and restaurant owners will be different, many of which buying their new business from the banks after they foreclosed on the current owners. Someone else probably got their house. Poor guys.

Certainly my sympathies go out to these hard working business owners but my money is unlikely to save them. Their problem is just too big.
I've heard Skip the Dishes doesn't offer refunds, even if they don't deliver the food.
When you deal with scammers, you're going to get screwed.

If the restaurant accepts a deal where they lose money on every sale, that's on them.
Doordash only charges 10%.

Lots of pizza places charge $5 or so for delivery, which IMO is worth it.
 

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^ A change made due to the pandemic with a potential to be permanent. This is great convenience for customers who like to complement their meals with liquor.
 

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I don't think it amounts to the same thing though. Who orders a glass of wine for takeout ?

The big hurt for restaurants are big gatherings like Mothers Day, Christmas, Thanksgiving, New Years Eve....business meetings, weddings, banquets, etc.

Today is Thanksgiving and our son and his family live a half block away. We aren't getting together for dinner this year.

So, the wife went to work today and will eat her Thanksgiving dinner there at the senior home. I will eat a turkey sandwich and soup later............LOL.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
I agree with @sags Why would I buy liquor from the restaurant for takeout when I can just go to the liquor store? My only reason would be to encourage the restaurant. Or maybe the restaurant has a private import? But for smaller restaurants, it's hard to see how they would manage to sell liquor for takeout, no?
 

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[
Today is Thanksgiving and our son and his family live a half block away. We aren't getting together for dinner this year.

So, the wife went to work today and will eat her Thanksgiving dinner there at the senior home. I will eat a turkey sandwich and soup later............LOL.
and because of that type of behavior, everyone you mentioned has a better chance of being healthy and alive for all those thanksgiving dinners the future will offer. A very cheap price to pay.
 

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[QUOTE="MrMatt, post: 2105756, member: 42812"

If the restaurant accepts a deal where they lose money on every sale, that's on them.

[/QUOTE]

In these cases the restaurants believe they don't have much choice. If they are not on the platform their customers get irritated and buy from the competitor. I suspect the restaurant losing money hopes that this "skip the dishes" customer enjoys the food so much that they come into the restaurant some other time, where maybe the owner can make a profit.

This situation of losing money is not specific to skip the dishes. The restaurant would also prefer you not use your cash back credit card that might cost them up to 7% of the revenue to VISA, as well. Again, they hope to not annoy the customer and perhaps at some point in the future they can figure out a way to pay these exorbitant amounts and still make a profit.

Knowing these things, if one truly wants to help the restaurant then one should be aware of these things and avoid using them. Assuming the restaurant owner controls all this stuff is incorrect. The people spending the money are the only ones with that type of control.
 
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