A handful of Patchogue Village restaurant owners met Wednesday and together decided to offer free delivery for food and alcohol to the immediate community.
This is while everyone’s holed up during coronavirus containment efforts.
The deliveries will be largely handled through the Qwik Ride and Late Night Chauffeurs transport companies, both of which are owned locally.
The minimum ticket for delivery is $25, to be paid via credit or debit card over the phone (or online, where offered). Drivers are to be tipped by cash-only.
The delivery area runs from Sunrise Highway to the Great South Bay north and south, and Nichols Road and Phyllis Drive (near the East Patchogue CVS) west and east.
The program launches tomorrow, Thursday, in the late afternoon, depending on when your preferred restaurant’s kitchen opens for business.
The participating restaurants are: Village Idiot Pub, The Tap Room, Donatina Neapolitan Pizza Café, PeraBell Food Bar, The Oar House, Fulton’s Gate, That Meetball Place and Bobbique and James Joyce. (More locations will likely be added.)
All those restaurants are still offering curbside takeout independent of the free delivery option.
For those looking to take advantage of the delivery offer, simply call the restaurants for delivery and they themselves will get in touch with the Qwik Ride and Late Night fleets to get the food out.
Some of the restaurants offer online ordering services, but delivery companies such as DoorDash and UberEats take a percentage of sales tickets, which is eating into local restaurants’ profit margins.
“Under normal circumstances that would be OK,” said Joseph Reale of That Meetball Place.
These are not normal circumstances.
The governor on Monday ordered that all state restaurants and bars be closed to dine-in services until the corona crisis subsides.
The local restaurants have had to lay off hundreds of employees, and are hoping to generate enough revenue on takeout and delivery to keep the lights on, so to speak, and to pay and retain remaining staff members as the lockdown measures persist.
“This is a way to support the local community and businesses,” said John Sarno, the owner or co-owner of Village Idiot locations in Patchogue, Oakdale and Lake Grove.
The Qwik Ride and Late Night fleets will be operating on tips and fees that will be much less than the larger, national delivery companies.
“No one in this room is making money on this,” Sarno said during Wednesday’s huddle. “This is for them,” the employees, he said.