Did Your Restaurant Close? Here Are Some Creative Ideas to Generate Revenue Quickly

COVID-19: Creative Ideas to Quickly Generate Revenue


n the wake of restaurant closures related to COVID-19, many restaurants quickly began offering curbside pickup, family meals and stepped up delivery as a way to maintain revenue. Others are getting even more creative, offering everything from fresh meats, merchandise and even cocktail kits to-go. Here are a few examples in Chicago.  

Meal Kits 

RPM Steak is offering an RPM Steak Care Package featuring three of the restaurant’s best-selling steaks, RPM Steak Salt and bottles of Buffalo Trace whiskey and Kith & Kin Cabernet for $175. 

Fat Rice is offering pay-what-you-can meal kits for employees first, followed by the public. 

Butcher Shop 

El Che Steakhouse & Bar has launched a butcher shop pop-up for pickup. Items for sale include dry-aged steaks, housemade chorizo, short ribs and other meats as well as bottles of wine and the restaurant’s popular chimichurri sauce. 


Modern steakhouse Maple & Ash has started offering brunch to-go for pickup on Saturday and Sunday in addition to dinner (and wine and spirits) delivery and pickup service throughout the week. 

Cocktail Kits 

Bar Biscay, through its “Bodega Biscay” pop-up (powered by the Toast POS platform) is offering bottles of wine and spirits as well as a homemade cocktail kit for $65 that includes a two-piece  mixing tin, 32 ounce mixing glass, two-sided, metered jigger, bar spoon, strainer and eye dropped bottles of bitters. Customers can also purchase produce, meat, dairy and other restaurant inventory items to replenish groceries. 

Gemini is offering a variety of cocktail kits available for curbside pick-up, including: 

Cadillac Margarita Kit ($75) – Corazon tequila, Cointreau, lime juice, limes; The Squirtsky kit ($75) – Rocktown grapefruit vodka, Prairie vodka, Pauly G’s secret squirtsky mix, citrus and two “G” glasses; Gentleman’s Martini kit ($75) – Ketel One vodka, Dolin vermouth, lemon, olives and two coupe classes (olive juice available for Dirty martinis), and “My Vacation Was Cancelled” kit ($40) – Jamaican run, Barritt’s ginger beer, 2 limes and two “G” glasses.

Lettuce Entertain You Enterprise’s Three Dots and a Dash is selling cocktail kits, bottles of rum, mugs at a discount, homemade syrups and fresh squeezed juices online. Other LEYE restaurants and bars are offering similar kits. 


Aside from setting up donation funds for employees, some restaurants are selling off special t-shirts and other merchandise to support their staff. 

El Che, as part of its butcher shop pop-up is also selling a t-shirts with 100 percent of those proceeds going to staff payroll. 

Hospitality company Leisure Activities partnered with restaurant uniform company Stock Mfg. to sell “Chicago Hospitality United” T-shirts online for $25 each.