As Front Range restaurants quickly pivot to adapt to the statewide mandated 30-day closure to mitigate the spread of the COVID-19 virus, local restaurant groups are banding together to keep kitchens cooking, people fed, and hospitality industry workers employed. Today, Sage Restaurant Concepts launched a limited-contact curbside pick-up initiative called Keep Calm and Carry Out as a way to safely feed communities and raise money for local food banks.
For every carry-out order placed with a participating restaurant—which not only includes the Sage restaurants of Urban Farmer, Kachina Cantina, and the Corner Office, but also other restaurants who wish to participate and commit to the donations—one dollar will go to Feeding America, a nationwide network of food banks that are working overtime to help vulnerable families affected by COVID-19.
“As we face this unprecedented time, we wanted to do something to help,” says Heather Dratler, vice president of marketing and brand Integrity for Sage Restaurant Concepts. “We created Keep Calm and Carry Out as a way people can keep ordering takeout from their favorite restaurants and help restaurants get through this difficult time.”
As of this writing, 20 restaurants have signed on to the nationwide initiative, but Dratler says she has an inbox full of others wanting to get involved. Diners are encouraged to check the website and Sage social media accounts for updates, and restaurants interested in signing on can do so via a link on the site.
“We’ve gotten a pretty positive response,” Dratler says.
Many of these restaurants will also provide delivery options, but the Keep Calm campaign will focus on carry-out to best follow current social distancing recommendations.
Here’s how it works: After ordering from your restaurant of choice, pull up to a valet or other vacant pull-over area, call the restaurant to alert them you’re there, and then wait for the host or server to run the food out to your car. There’s no need to touch anything, be around people, or leave your vehicle.
“The biggest thing is we’re trying to bring a sense of calm to the community right now,” Dratler says. “We care a lot about the communities we operate in, as well as our restaurant community. Social distancing doesn’t mean you have to only eat Twinkies. You can still help your community—both those you help directly [in the restaurant industry] and those you help indirectly via donations to Feeding America.”
Dratler expects the list of restaurants committing to the Feeding America donation to keep growing, but right now you can order from D Bar, Steuben’s Uptown, Four Friends Kitchen, Hearth & Dram, and other area spots to feed your cravings—and people and small businesses in need in Denver.