Thursday 09 April 2020

From starred restaurants to beer – food firms get corona creative

Brewery Owner Roel Buckens is mailing #StayStrong beer packages across the Netherlands.

It’s Saturday night. You’ve been stuck in the house for nearly a week. There’s nowhere to go. What to do? Numerous bars and restaurants have come up with ways to get you something to eat, drink and enjoy.

‘It started as a joke,’ says Marijke Vuik who owns Doerak, a beer cafe in Delft. On Monday afternoon, she uploaded a video of one of her employees delivering beers to customers in Delft. Vuik also owns a bottle shop in Delft, where they can fill growlers, or large bottles with a lid. And while she can’t serve at her bars, following the Sunday afternoon closure of all bars and restaurants in the country to prevent the spread of COVID-19, she can deliver.

Every day this week, she’s posted a list of the beers that are available on the Doerak Facebook page and customers can call or message to place orders and pay online. Then Vuik or one of her staff delivers the one or two-liter bottles around Delft.

Don’t want to drink on an empty stomach? The Amsterdam Foodie, Vicky Hampton, has a round-up of restaurants in Amsterdam who are doing delivery or take away. The Amsterdamschat blog has a round up of vegan places that are still serving as well. Thuisbezorgd, Deliveroo and other delivery services are still operating as well. The delivery companies have seen a major increase in the past few days of the number of restaurants on their site.

There’s also a lot of options outside of the capital city. In De Buurt has a list for restaurants that are delivering in Rotterdam, The Hague, Eindhoven and other cities. In Utrecht, a group of friends created a website for Steun de Keuken (or support the kitchens) where you can order from 50 local restaurants.

If you’re in Amsterdam and you want to spend your time in quarantine cooking, The Good Companion has a fish box which will give you want you need to make a nice seafood meal. Not eating meat? Support Your Locals is offering an entire vegetarian shopping package.

The two bakeries are working together to deliver bread across Delft. Photo: Bakker Jaap / Bakker Van Roon

In Delft, two bakeries have joined forces to deliver bread to the city. ‘We wanted to do something for the people who couldn’t or didn’t want to get out,’ says Sanne, who works at Bakker de Roon. Together with Bakker Jaap, you can now order via what’s app, they will send you a Tikkie and arrange a time for delivery.

Want to get fancy? Multiple Michelin star award-winning restaurant De Nederlanden in Vreeland is also doing take away. You can get a three-course meal for €40. A four-course meal at the restaurant is usually €75. Another starred restaurant, De Loohoeve in Schoonloo, is doing the same. The highly-regarded Rijks in Amsterdam is also joining the delivery market.

Give them something to do. Photo: Kim van Grinsven

If you managed to hamster enough to eat for yourself and your family, but you still want to support your local eatery, you can buy a gift certificate on the Red de Restaurant (save the restaurant) website and redeem it at some point in the future.

Other restaurants are using the lock down to give back to their communities. Resto VanHarte, a foundation that sets up restaurants with a social mission, has been raising money to make thousands of meals for elderly people who are unable to leave their homes.

While many initiatives are geographically based, since they are either for delivery or for take away, Frontaal Brewery in Breda will send you a #StayStrong beer package no matter where you are in the Netherlands. You get 12 beers for 30 euros and the contents are a surprise. ‘With bars closed, we don’t have any of our regular customers, so we’re staying open with the webshop.’ Shipping is free.

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