Amid dining room closures, a Vernon restaurant, The Med, has come up with gourmet meal kits as an alternative to traditional take-out. (The Med photo)

Okanagan restaurant serves up unique option amid pandemic

‘The coronavirus situation has essentially decimated the service industry,’ owner said

It’s not business as usual, therefore businesses are making some unusual changes to serve their community.

With dining rooms shut down due to COVID-19, and only takeout service available, most restaurants are feeling a dramatic decline in business.

“The coronavirus situation has essentially decimated the service industry,” said James Fradley, one of the owners of the Med (now being called the Med Express amid these unusual times). “We’ve gone from full steam to almost full stop.”

“Things are becoming increasingly scary.”

The downtown Vernon restaurant is one of many dine-in spots that have been hit hard by COVID-19. But the family-business, opened 22 years ago by Andrew and Dawn Fradley, is getting creative to survive amongst this challenging climate.

“I was racking my brain as to what we can do,” said Fradley, who helped come up with the idea of gourmet meal kits for takeout.

“We’ve already had a couple of orders.”

And thanks to temporary measures put in by place by the government, you can even order a bottle of wine to go with your meal.

READ MORE: Wineries and liquor stores should be essential services: B.C. Wine Institute

The “take and make” style orders includes sauce and noodle packages that you boil, with any added condiments on the side.

“We do all the work, so you don’t have to,” said Fradley of the option that is more flexible than traditional take-out.

Not being at the mercy of timing, the express meal options allow those that are still working, and those who are at home, the ability to plan ahead. Or for those whose schedules are up in the air, delay a meal without it getting soggy or cold.

“We’re preparing a number of our dishes, and we’re preparing them up until a point where they just need a final five or 10 minutes to completion,” said Fradley, of the meals that are somewhere between takeout and online food boxes.

Individually preparing each of the pan sauces, and pastas, the chefs then seal and chill, so they are ready for the next chef (you) to take over.

But you don’t have to be a chef to do the work.

“If you can boil a pot of water you can cook it,” said Fradley, noting the gourmet meals will make you feel like a five-star chef.

The idea, which was the family brainchild, might even stick, as it has been on the back burner for a while.

“This is actually a business model that has always been on the back of our minds,” James said. “This is born under necessity but down the line, should we feel there is traction, certainly it’s something we would consider.”

READ MORE: Okanagan distillery’s hand sanitizer nearly ready for public

If you are doing something unique with your business amid COVID-19, let us know: https://www.vernonmorningstar.com/submit/


@VernonNews
jennifer@vernonmorningstar.com

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