Carryout sales have always been a notch or two above the norm at Kinneret Grill, according to Karen Chriqui, who owns the place along with husband Avner. “We’ve always had strong carryout here, even dating back years before now. But these days, with the pandemic and all of that, the carryout business has been even better, and that has made a big difference for us,” she said. “With Thanksgiving (November 26) and Chanukah (December 11) coming, we are planning special (items) for those holidays and getting ready for all the carryout orders we will have for those dates.”
What will be on the carryout menu for the two holidays? All that is in the planning stages at this time, but soon there will be information available and protocols for ordering and pickup. Chriqui expects to do a solid business filling those orders, and carryout orders in general going forward. She offered concurrence with what other restaurateurs have said in the months since the virus changed the paradigm for diners-out; namely, that many patrons of the dining scene want someone else to do the cooking, even if that means carrying prepared restaurant foods home and eating around the family table.
Before mid-March or so, diners-out did just that—they dined out when the spirit moved them. Now, that spirit still moves some, and Chriqui is happy to have those folks in her eatery, at lunchtime or a relaxed evening meal. More diners at Kinneret Grill, sitting down to a fine-dine meal, would be a plus for her restaurant without question. Yet Chriqui understands the reluctance to dine out among some in the Jewish community and the broader at-large community as well. The good news is that reluctance has not changed the desire to sit down to a meal that somebody else prepared for you, your family, or small social gatherings meeting the protocols of the moment. Carryout in its several forms has accommodated that desire.
“From the Jewish community and the general public too, the interest in our carryout has helped us through the summer, and we want to encourage people to use our website software that allows such great convenience and makes everything about carryout easier and better,” she said. “It’s a new and streamlined ordering system that allows you both to place your order and to pay on-line (at the same time), and your order goes right to the kitchen, literally, without anybody at our end writing anything down or anything like that. No reentry or that sort of thing. The order is more efficient even than if they call it in or use another service (Grub Hub or Door Dash, which are available if you want meals delivered to your door).
Chriqui emphasized that the direct entry system pertains to carryout orders the customer picks up at the restaurant, and only customer-pickup carryout. “For us, it truly is great, because we can jump right on it. Delivery (to the doorstep) is still through Door Dash (and Grub Hub as well), but if you are picking up a carryout order, this new system is so easy. And when you click on the button (and see the menu), the food is very visual, when you order, because you can see the food,” she said.
For me, seeing the entrée I am about to order is an added benefit that helps me make decisions on what to order, or even what to eat. How many times have you gone into a fine-dine restaurant and watched meals come from the kitchen to diners sitting nearby? You might ask: “Geez, that looks good; what is that entrée?” Personally, bet I have asked that question a hundred different times in dine-out settings. Why? Because eating, and especially eating out, is an activity that involves all the senses (even hearing—ever have a sizzling dish before?!). And getting a good look at an entrée before you are asked to decide on ordering helps the process.
In fact, psychologists, dieticians and physicians specializing in the human digestive system say that the digestive process actually is kicked into gear when food that looks or smells appetizing is placed in front of us, especially when we are hungry. “Digestion begins even before the food enters the mouth…even the thought of food, starts the production of saliva” that is key to the digestive process in humans, according to Medical News Today, a publication medically reviewed by Michele Cho-Dorado, MD. Without going off the Pavlovian deep end here, a picture is good, and you will have that when you use Kinneret Grill’s on-line system.
From an out-of-pocket standpoint, doing a pick-up run makes a lot of sense, also, according to Chriqui. When you come by and pick up your carryout order, it is really a better option than the delivery services because of the cost, she emphasized. Plus, the timeliness of the food getting to your table generally is a lot better. Chriqui stated that most people who order food and come by to pick it up arrive on time or even a little before time to pick it up, and that is good for the quality of a prepared meal.
See you at Kinneret Grill, seated at a table and socially distanced, or picking up a carryout order!
4068 East Galbraith Road
Cincinnati, OH 45236