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Culinary scene finds way out in takeaway, delivery service

As more people are staying in amid the ongoing novel coronavirus pandemic, restaurants are turning to takeaway and delivery services to attract customers wary of coming into contact with others while dining out.

Luxury hotels are offering contactless dining suitable for customers celebrating a special day at home or for those conducting an important business meeting over a meal.

Lotte Hotel Seoul in central Seoul launched meal sets that can be picked up at a drive-thru on April 6. In the first two weeks, more than 200 meals were picked up. 

Meal set option from Japanese restaurant Momoyama at Lotte Hotel Seoul (Hotel Lotte)
Meal set option from Japanese restaurant Momoyama at Lotte Hotel Seoul (Hotel Lotte)

Food from the hotel’s Japanese restaurant Momoyama, buffet restaurant La Seine and bread & pastry boutique Delica Hans can all be picked up in the packaged meal sets. The hotel said the Momoyama option, at 78,000 won to 104,000 won each ($64-$86), accounted for more than 50 percent of the total takeaway sales.

Encouraged by the high demand for takeout, Westin Chosun Hotel has launched similar services. Takeaway sales at its Japanese restaurant Sushi Cho, Chinese restaurant Hongyeon and bakery Chosun Deli, experienced 45 percent on-year growth in the period from January to March.

The hotel offers a free delivery service for orders of more than 20 prepackaged meals or 1 million won from Sushi Cho and Hongyeon.

Franchise restaurants are jumping on the bandwagon too, via their own individual delivery platforms or delivery service apps.

Hong Kong‘s Michelin-starred dim sum restaurant Tim Ho Wan, which landed in Korea in December, recently launched a delivery service. Diners can order food worth 10,000 won or more through local delivery service app Baedal Minjok.

According to Kalisco, operator of premium pork cutlet brand Saboten, the average delivery sales in February and March were double those of January. Casual Mexican food franchise Taco Bell, another label managed by Kalisco in Korea, experienced a 56 percent growth in delivery sales in February and March from January. 

Delivery set from Taco Bell (Kalisco)
Delivery set from Taco Bell (Kalisco)

Encouraged by the sales growth, Kalisco said it is looking into developing a delivery-only menu.

SPC Group, a leading food and bakery company here, is running its own individual delivery service via the Happy Order app.

Shake Shack, managed by SPC in Korea, offers delivery service from its 11 outlets. First launched in November at the Gangnam and Cheongdam branches, the service has expanded to all outlets in Korea, except at Incheon Airport.

While Paris Baguette, a bakery brand under SPC Group, has been offering delivery of its bakery goods, the brand newly launched a notification system that provides the baking schedule at each branch, allowing customers to order delivery of the freshest baked goods.

By Im Eun-byel (