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AAA Summer Takeout Guide

One of the best things about summer (and life) is food. Whether it’s a hot dog with all the toppings, a lobster roll or a heaping helping of potato salad, the food of the summer is all delicious. As restrictions surrounding COVID-19 become more relaxed, many local restaurants are now offering patio dining, and some have even started offering indoor dining.

You might not be comfortable with eating out yet, or you might have some health concerns about yourself or a family member that are giving you pause. The good news is that you don’t have to go out to a restaurant to enjoy a restaurant-type experience. You can just order takeout! When you order out you can support local restaurants, mix up your dining habits, get family-style deals and if you get a no-contact delivery, you don’t even have to wear a mask.

Let our summer takeout guide lead the way.

Where to Order

A lot more restaurants now offer delivery options, so you’ll have a wide variety to choose from when you want to order takeout. There are also a lot of different delivery apps that help shuttle the food from the restaurant to your doorstep. Apps like DoorDash, Uber Eats and others are now offering no-contact or low-contact delivery options due to the pandemic. If you are ordering food because you don’t want to have contact with other people, this is the way to go.

When you choose a no-contact delivery option, the delivery person will simply leave your order on your doorstep (or wherever else you specify) and return to their vehicle. You pay for the order over the app, and you leave the delivery person a tip over the app as well. You can get your food while making absolutely zero contact. It’s one of the safest ways to eat out (well, to eat in).

You can also call your local restaurants directly, and if you want to replicate the no-contact experience you get through the apps, you can always ask over the phone. Restaurants want to make sure you feel safe ordering their food, and most will be more than willing to accommodate you.

How to Stay Safe

Fortunately, experts are now saying that the coronavirus is not believed to be carried by food. That means any type of food, hot or cold. It’s also very unlikely that COVID-19 could survive on food packaging long enough to arrive at your house. If you’re choosing the no-contact option mentioned above, you’re already being extremely safe.

If you want to be extra hygienic, however, you can immediately discard any packaging the food came in, including bags and plastic utensils. Try to minimize prolonged contact with anything (besides the food) that anybody might have touched. After you unwrap and dispose of the packaging, and before you eat, remember to wash your hands thoroughly.

Ordering Etiquette

We have to stick together during the pandemic – even though we also have to stay six feet apart. When you’re ordering food from a local restaurant, just remember to be polite. It’s a stressful time for everybody. It’s also considered polite to tip the delivery person more than you might have tipped them in normal times, since they’re taking on an extra risk.

In the past, tipping with cash was considered more polite than tipping with a credit card. In these times, that etiquette has flipped. Many consider cards safer than handling cash. Besides, when you tip with a card, you usually don’t have to make face-to-face contact with the delivery person.

If you do have to make face-to-face contact with someone, whether you have to meet your delivery person at the door, or you’re picking food up at the restaurant yourself, remember to wear a mask. Mask wearing is a way to express that you value the health and safety of others, and it’s a great way to keep your community safe. Even if it’s not required, it’s polite to mask up.

This summer is different from all other summers before, but that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the foods of the season. And if you don’t feel comfortable going to a restaurant, you can always order out and make your own patio dining experience in your backyard.

How are you getting your food this summer? Let us know in the comments below!

Use your AAA discount to get $25 restaurant certificates for only $6 from Restaurant.com. 

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