restaurants respond to coronavirus

Houston restaurants roll out new to-go, delivery, and distancing options to address coronavirus

Houston restaurants roll out to-go, delivery, and distancing options

Bravery Chef Hall wine bar
Bravery Chef Hall has closed its dining room.  Photo by Claudia Casbarian

Houston restaurants have rolled out a number of strategies for meeting the challenges posed by the coronavirus pandemic. Recommendations from the CDC and other authorities to limit social interactions to minimize the rate at which the virus spreads have people deviating from their normal dining patterns, which is forcing restaurants to change their operations.  

Bravery Chef Hall announced that it has closed its dining room and will be operating only for delivery and curbside to-go. The downtown food hall will launch its own delivery service that will initially serve downtown and will expand over time.

"Our decision was not easy, but the responsible action is to alter our business model and minimize the impact that continued dine-in service will have on propagating the virus and the disastrous results we are seeing in other cities around the country and globe," Bravery partner Shepard Ross wrote in a press release. 

In order to help ensure diners stay healthy, Bravery staff will wear masks and gloves to handle curbside pickup orders, and delivery vehicles will be sanitized throughout the day. The restaurant will take employees' temperatures at the beginning of each shift.

Bravery isn't the only restaurant that's closing its dining room temporarily. Over the weekend, both South African restaurant Peli Peli Vietnamese restaurant Jenni's Noodle House initiated to-go or delivery-only service. Local Chick-fil-A franchises are currently drive-thru only.  

Other restaurants are promoting social distancing. Nancy's Hustle announced on social media that it will restrict the number of people allowed to wait for a table.

Theodore Rex has removed tables and bar seats in an effort to keep at least 1-meter between tables. To replace the lost seating, the restaurant has added a few tables to its waiting room. 

The situation is fluid and will require flexibility on the part of both businesses and customers. For now, steps like removing tables and promoting to-go orders should allow restaurants to keep operating in these uncertain times.