This week in restaurant news: off-premise hospitality, ghost kitchens, restaurant safety awards

Every week we’re rounding up some of our favorite articles with trends and tidbits from the world of restaurants. Tell us: what made your reading list this week?

Is This the Future of Dining? – The Wall Street Journal
In a world of socially distant and off-premise dining, chefs and restaurateurs are looking for creative ways to keep the magic of hospitality alive. From special-occasion celebration boxes and custom insulated tote bags to at-home private chefs, get inspired by these next-level experiences.

Rise of the Ghost Kitchens: How Virtual Restaurants Are Reshaping L.A.’s Dining Economy – Los Angeles Times
Emerging ghost kitchens may prepare food for dozens of delivery-only brands simultaneously, all out of the same space, reporter Garrett Snyder writes – think fish and chips alongside quinoa salads and spicy wings. Learn how the business is reshaping the way Los Angelenos dine. (On a related note, Nation’s Restaurant News reports that 70% of operators say off-premise sales are up compared to pre-pandemic levels.)

These 9 Restaurants Are the Safest Places to Eat in Charleston Area, Our Food Critic Says – The Post and Courier
In Charleston, critic Hanna Raskin introduced a new type of culinary prize. She awarded the first-ever Dr. Leon Banov Banners of Distinction to nine local restaurants “that have demonstrated the utmost concern for the health and safety of their employees and customers” during the pandemic. See the honorees, and find out what they’re doing to adapt safely.

Restaurateurs Manage Cashflow During COVID-19 by Unloading Their Cellars – Nation’s Restaurant News
With the onset of COVID, restaurateurs have begun selling off the contents of their wine cellars for additional cash flow – a boon for savvy guests eager to score bottles that they can’t find in shops. Here’s how to market and package your best wines.

As Financing Dries Up, Companies Turn to Crowdfunding – Restaurant Business
Equity crowdfunding – in which startup companies rely on crowdfunding strategies to find investors – may be taking off during the pandemic, as traditional financing sources have pulled back. Learn about the risks and benefits here.

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