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

COVID-19: Creative Ideas to Quickly Generate Revenue

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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. 

Brunch-To-Go 

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. 

Merch  

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.

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