Written by Melanie May
Many Irish food and drink businesses have pivoted their business approach to mitigate the economic impact of the Coronavirus. This ‘adapt to survive’ approach is providing consumers with some very tasty and creative home eating solutions.
Here are just some of the ways that Irish food and drinks businesses have adapted to the restrictions imposed because of the Coronavirus.
Forest Avenue is operating as a Green Grocers temporarily during COVID-19 and offers a no contact delivery service and collection facility. They also provide a very handy virtual shopping tour, where a member of the Forest Avenue team will video call you and shop live for you.
Many restaurant owners have started to offer click and collect services. The is a very obvious move for many businesses as restaurant do not need to get planning permission to turn their businesses into takeaways. You just pre-order your food and collect it from the restaurant, or, in the case of Michael’s restaurant in Dublin, they will open your car boot and put the food in there for you. They’ll even sanitise the boot before and after they have touched it.
BuJo Burger in Sandymount, Dublin, stuck a phone on the door which allowed customers to order their food via video call. This enabled customers to order their food without entering the premises, helping to keep staff and customers safe.
BuJo also started selling BuJo home burger kits. Each kit contains the ingredients needed to make eight BuJo burgers from the comfort of your own home. Those lucky enough to get their hands on a kit get burgers, Bujo’s secret sauce, cheese, pickles, BuJo brioche buns, napkins, burger wrappers, parchment for pressing and detailed instructions from Chef Gráinne O’Keefe about how to create the perfect BuJo in your own home. Delicious and responsible.
In a similar vein, The Butcher Grill is selling TBGatHome boxes so you can recreate your favourite menu items. The box contains steaks, two sides and desserts and you pre-order online and collect from the restaurant in Ranelagh.
If pizza is what you crave, Woodfire & Green in Sandyford has developed pizza kits so you can make restaurant-style pizzas at home. They have developed new freezer meals too.
Following all the recommended guidelines, many food and drink businesses have started delivery services within a 2km zone and are offering cashless payments to observe the two-metre social distancing recommendation.
Restaurants are also signing up to food delivery apps like Just Eat and Deliveroo. New restaurants to these apps include Boojum, Elephant & Castle, Gourmet Food Parlour and Tribeca in Ranelagh. These restaurants never offered food delivery before the Coronavirus restrictions.
Market traders are also reinventing and offering boxes of fresh fruit, vegetables and other fresh produce for home delivery. Again, using contactless payments and observing social-distancing recommendations by dropping boxes at customers’ doorsteps. Airfield Estate has introduced a new click and collect market box filled with goodies like Jersey milk, organic eggs, bread, coffee, and fresh fruit and veg.
Another great website for buying the very best produce online, direct from your local farmers and food producers is Neighbour Food.
In Lucan, a group of businesses have joined together to create an all-in-one home delivery service. Products from Fresh-n-Fruity, Collin’s Butchers, The Artisan Pantry and Powers Wine can all be pre-ordered and pre-paid online or over the phone and delivered to your home in one delivery.
There are also wine and beer tastings happening online now instead of in classrooms. Lynda Coogan of Wine Tasting Ireland is setting up a new online wine tasting course cleverly called A Class Of Wine.
Another company taking its course online is Gaelic Escargot. The theory part of their Snail Farming Courses will be run through ZOOM online video conferencing followed by a one-to-one farm tour when everything calms down.
Fiona of Fiona’s Food for Life is now doing her cookery demos online and she donates the food cooked to frontline staff.
Perhaps the most creative idea so far is from The Hatfield House pub in Belfast which is offering fresh pour pints of Guinness at your doorstep. They are sending around Guinness vans to people who have pre-ordered pints and paid online. What a service.
There is also a glut of new and very useful websites and apps to come out of the Coronavirus restrictions. Check out the EatForIreland app which is a crowd-sourced list of independent businesses offering meals and products for delivery and collection.
Shop Local Online is an online directory helping customers buy from local Irish businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic.
If you are looking for ways that your restaurant can apart during the pandemic, the Kerry Group has produced a great article entitled COVID-19 Restaurant Innovations and Adaptations.
As you can see, there are plenty of businesses across the country adapting how they operate.
Here are a few more companies that are still open and operating delivery or click and collect services.
Sustainable Seafood Ireland: Niall Sabongi owner of Klaw and Seafood Cafe has launched a nationwide seafood delivery service to the public. You can get lots of local and sustainably caught fish including lobster from Dingle which is 2 for €24. There will be fruit and veg from Sean Hussey and bread from Firehouse Bakery. There’s also two local click and collect locations – Forest Ave and Unit 9 Willsborough Business Centre, Clonshaugh Business & Technology Park, Dublin, D17 T854.
The Little Mill: If you are finding it difficult to buy flour in the shops, The Little Mill is selling flour online with deliveries throughout the country.
In West Cork, April Danann who featured in our Wild Food YouTube series, has an online shop where you can purchase some delicious immune boosting foods. She delivers nationwide. We are a big fan of her Turmeric & Ginger Apple Cider Vinegar.
That’s not all. If you fancy giving fermentation a go, she has a great ebook available for only .99 cent reduced from €4.99 which is great value. Click here to purchase.
That’s not all. If you fancy giving fermentation a go, she has a great e
Bread 41: Eoin Cluskey and his staff are now offering delivery of their scrumptious bakery delights between 3km and 5km from their cafe on Pearse Street. There’s a limited range of bread, including their delicious sourdough, and pastries.
Dubliner Meat Company: Need meat and more? The Dubliner Meat Company offers next day delivery in Dublin of lovely Fit Foods ready meals as well as the usual items your local butcher provides.
Gahan Meats: This Dublin butcher has started a home delivery service. You just need to ring in your order between 9am-5pm, Monday through Friday and they will have it ready for you ASAP and they can put it in your car boot for you. Alternatively for orders over €50, they will deliver to your home, Monday through Friday to Finglas, Ballymun, Glasnevin, Cabra and Blanchardstown. If you live outside one of these areas give them a call regardless and they’ll see what we can do. They are very accommodating.
Le Patissier: for fine handmade desserts and patisserie using local Irish Ingredients place and order with Le Patissier and they will deliver a box of treats to your door.
Mud Bakery: Got a sweet tooth that needs soothing? Mud Bakery is doing home deliveries in and around Dublin City centre.
Picado Mexican: Want to whip up a Mexican feast at home? Get your Mexican cooking essentials from Picado for delivery or click and collect.
Piccolo Caffè: Laura and Sergio are doing takeaway coffees and authentic Italian food from their Piccolo Caffè in Cabinteely.
Poulet Bonne Femme: Winner winner chicken dinner! Poulet Bonne Femme are doing online orders.
Riba Restaurant: The marvellous restaurant in Stillorgan is now doing home deliveries of its excellent food. Order everything.
The Fruit People: Get your fruit fix with a home delivery box full of fresh goodness. The Fruit People will deliver right to your home.
Veginity: Vegans can get their fix at Veginity which is doing a zero contact take away menu.
Taste Leitrim: In Leitrim loads of restaurants and food producers have started takeaway and delivery services. Taste Leitrim members that are now offering these services can be found on the Taste Leitrim website.
XXI ICE: In Dundalk, XXI Ice is offering a delivery service between 5pm and 9pm via Just Eat. They do hand-rolled ice-cream and have a dizzying array of scrumptious and adventurous flavours. Kinder Bueno with Milkbar sauce for me, please!
Sligo Food Trail: In Sligo, you are spoiled for choice with many Sligo Food Trail members now offering takeaway and delivery of their fabulous food. There is a full list on the Sligo Food Trail website.
Walker 1781: Sligo restauranteurs Joe Grogan and Grainne Sheridan were all set to open their new restaurant, Walker 1781 but the pandemic put a pause on that. Now they are making prefect pizza and pasta for take away every Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Ordering details are on the Walker 1781 Instagram account.
Firehouse Bakery: This brilliant bakery in Delgany is doing contactless takeaway wood-fired pizzas, and wings and brownies. Yum. They are also selling flour at the weekends.