Oak Table Cafe is one many Sequim businesses to offer to-go orders and curbside pick-up. Sequim Gazette photo by Matthew Nash

Oak Table Cafe is one many Sequim businesses to offer to-go orders and curbside pick-up. Sequim Gazette photo by Matthew Nash

Resturants, grocery stores making changes to help Sequim

Local grocers and restaurants adapting to serve the community in a difficult time

  • Wednesday, March 25, 2020 1:30am
  • News

Despite the shelter-in-place order issued by Gov. Jay Inslee on Monday, March 23, area restaurants will still be able to operate with delivery and takeout service as they have for the last week.

Numerous Sequim area restaurants have found creative ways to adapt to the situation, including Tedesco’s adding delivery service for the first time since the Italian restaurant opened more than two years ago.

In fact, Tedesco’s were able to manage their insurance costs to a lower point to where initially announced fees for delivery were no longer necessary.

For Nourish, though, much of their business is continuing as normal thanks to their long-established Dine @ Home program. They offer a menu of healthy options that changes every week that customers can select from to create a week’s worth of pre-made meals to have available at home. They ask that orders be placed by noon on Saturday each week so that they may be available the following Thursday.

Nourish is also putting together a program through GoFundMe where their customers can also raise funds to donate meals to Olympic Medical Center employees.

Nourish’s Dine @ Home menu can be found at www.nourishsequim.com/dine-at-home, and they’re currently offering a discount to first-time customers.

Also, Domino’s regional management sent out a press release indicating that stores across western Washington — including their store in Sequim — will be hiring to help keep up with extra demand.

Dashing delivery

A recent addition to the Sequim restaurant scene is DoorDash, a web-based delivery service that allows customers to place orders from various local eateries and have it delivered to their door.

Considering the trying times for restaurants that have been forced to close their dining rooms, DoorDash CEO Tony Xu announced that for the next month, all new and existing partner restaurants are able to operate through DoorDash without paying their usual commission fees.

Xu also said that the “drop at the door” no-contact delivery option will be the new default option unless customers specify otherwise in their order, and that DoorDash will help provide financial assistance to “Dashers,” their delivery drivers, who are diagnosed with COVID-19 or forced to quarantine because of it.

A company representative also told the Sequim Gazette that the company is continuing to evaluate safety procedures and will update them appropriately to best protect their employees, customers and partner restaurants.

Grocery stores making changes

Local grocery stores in Sequim, including QFC, Safeway, Walmart and Sunny Farms, are all making time available in their stores specifically for those 60 and older or in other groups considered at-risk for COVID-19 complications, such as pregnant women or those who are immuno-compromised.

QFC is opening their store to just at-risk people from 7 a.m.-8 a.m. Monday through Thursday. Currently the pharmacy isn’t available during those hours, but QFC indicated they’re working on making staffing available soon then. Otherwise, the store is open from 8 a.m.-8 p.m. instead of their normal hours to allow for more time to restock and sanitize the store.

Safeway is also modifying their normal hours from 9 a.m.-10 p.m. for the general public, with a special 6-9 a.m. time set aside for the region’s at-risk population, with the pharmacy opening at 7 a.m.

Safeway and QFC regional updates have both indicated that their stores are hiring to keep up with increased demand, and a manager at QFC said that their store has already hired five people in the last week.

Both stores also offer delivery services through InstaCart, an online grocery delivery company that is currently accepting new applicants nationwide to help support communities during this time.

Sunny Farms is maintaining their normal hours of operation, while asking that on Wednesdays and Sundays between 8-9:30 a.m., only those considered at-risk come to the store.

Walmart in Sequim has changed their hours to 7 a.m.-8:30 p.m., and in a press release said that they will have a special hour from 6-7 a.m. every Tuesday until April 28 for customers 60 and older, which will include pharmacy availability.

Shipley drive-up closed

The Shipley Center had been providing a drive-up food service since they had to cease providing their usual café meal service, but elected this week to discontinue that for now.

Michael Smith, executive director of the Shipley Center, said Monday that the Meals to Go program was being suspended after a shortage of “key volunteers and staff” were no longer available, making safety and feasibility too much of a concern to go forward.

“We feel there are enough other restaurants offering take-out that it is not critical for us to do so,” Smith said.

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