Marketing and Compliance Tips for Delivery, To-Go, Curbside

parking lot

Update 4/15/2020:

Resources Available from ServSafe

Get your free ServSafe Food Handler courses, ServSafe Takeout and Delivery: COVID-19 Precautions video, as well as career-enhancing ServSuccess training courses here, and AHLEI courses here.

Update 3/31/2020:


Sysco Memphis, LLC. is offering a 🎥 webinar at two different times (11am & 2pm) on Wednesday, April 1st.

Learn about your opportunity to turn your restaurant into a Pop Up Grocery Shop during these critical times! 🍎🍐🍞🍳

Click this link for the webinar 4/1 at 11am

Click this link for the webinar 4/1 at 2pm 

Join the MRA for FREE until 7/1 here

Previous posts

This brochure from Ben E. Keith gives some excellent tips.

Set up curbside pickup, to-go ordering, drive-through if you are able, and delivery as soon as possible.

For assistance with curbside parking if you are downtown or in Midtown, click here.

If you don’t have online ordering, now is the time to get that setup. Click here for options from various POS companies.

Eschewing cash for other payments will deter this virus. Consider Venmo, Paypal, online payments, Apple Pay, and contactless readers. It is safer for your employees to not have to handle money, and it will instill a peace-of-mind in your customers as well.

Utilizing your own employees for delivery is a way to keep them working. If you are short-staffed, look at this post for companies that offer delivery.

Be sure to update everywhere with the services you are offering. This includes Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Website, and email to your customers. If you are able to update your information on google and yelp, do so.

Print signage to display throughout your establishment. Use our Office Depot discount card for discounts on printing. These are just suggestions.

  • Display a sign on your front door that you are complying with the no-dine-in statewide mandate, and that you encourage only one member of the party to enter the store to pick up your order. Depending on the size of your restaurant, you may have to say “we are only allowing x number of patrons inside at one time.”
  • Clearly indicate with a sign where your drive-through or curbside parking is.
  • If your restrooms are open, display signage that restrooms are open to encourage good health. Something along the lines of “We have allowed our restrooms to remain open to encourage hand-washing. No more than 3 people allowed in the restroom at a time to maintain 6 feet of social distancing.” Keep those restrooms clean and stocked with soap, etc.
  • Maybe signs on the restroom doors that say “if you are able, grasp the handle with a paper towel instead of your hand.”
  • For your to-go line inside your restaurant, mark with tape or dots a queue which allows for 6-feet of distancing around each customer.

Here is an example from Walgreens:

Click for source – Twitter @NeimerDreamer

Please do all you can (signs, employee education, Facebook explanation on your business page, etc) to indicate that your businesses are complying with this ordinance and making an effort to serve the public while curtailing the virus. We hope this will allow our businesses to remain open for as long as possible, even with these restricted operations.

Update all your media channels to communicate if you are open or closed. Your customers will want to know.

Follow the rules:

  • From the City of Memphis: “Complaints about noncompliance can be sent on the Memphis Website via the “Message Us” tab. City Attorneys are reviewing the submissions and routing to the appropriate entity to respond. First a visit from Code Enforcement then MPD or Health Department. The penalty varies but could be misdemeanor citation and or revocation of beer permit, business license, etc. It is evolving.”
  • Please follow the rules, and we will do all we can do to advocate for you, but we remind you that “perception is everything” and the public is very frightened right now. To avoid unnecessary interruptions to your business, read on:
  • It is not against the rules to have more than 10 people in your establishment
    • If they are not congregating in one party or group
    • If they are standing 6 feet apart or more
    • If they are not dining in your restaurant
    • If they are not loitering or lingering after they pick up their to-go order
  • Encourage only one person per party to enter the restaurant
  • Encourage curbside over takeout if possible. Encourage delivery “drop and go” over curbside if possible.
  • Discourage children and large families – on the phone when your customer places the order, remind them “we prefer if just one person from your party picks up the order and we will bring it to your car.”
  • You are not responsible for groups that linger outside your business, however, you should not be promoting outside dining on your patio.
  • Do all you can do to play your part in slowing this virus. It is important for your customers, the public, and the City to perceive that restaurants are doing everything in their power to follow rules and promote public health.

Please remove all your patio and outdoor furniture, or somehow indicate that it is out of commission. (See example image below.) Unfortunately, the public cannot be trusted to abide by social distancing when they are tempted with outdoor seating. We are seeing customers pick up take-out food, then sit outside at the restaurant’s seating and consume their food in groups, in numbers too large to prevent the spread of the virus.

Click for source: Amazon
Click for source: Fixtures Close Up

More ideas from Dining Alliance (their website here has even more ideas):


  1. Add “Grocery Essentials” to all of your online menus, especially your delivery apps like DoorDash, Grubhub, and others. A grocery type item can be added under the “sides menu” or you can often create a special category like “Save a trip to the grocery Store!” You likely have a lot of these items on hand already and your distributors have a ton of inventory for you to pull if these sales go well. (See Examples of Other Operators Grocery Lists at our Operator Support Center)
    1. Create a Pre-set “Pantry Box” of these items – produce items, disposables, eggs, milk, bread, any frozen or fresh protein item that makes sense at a fixed price per box – $20 to $40.
    2. Promote the sale of these boxes on all of your social media and other online outlets.
  2. Setup a small “Market” in the front of the store. Ask all pickup customers if they are in need of any of your market items.
  3. Check to see if your state has waived laws to allow wine, beer and alcohol to be sold for off-premise consumption. Many states already have, such as CT and FL. If your state hasn’t, email and call local politicians and send the articles from the States that have.
  4. Call any of your contacts at local public schools and see if there is a way for you to tap into the Free and Reduced Lunch funds for food for families in need. The news media has talked a lot about the plans to feed kids during this shut-down. There are creative ways for restaurants to contribute their resources to this cause.
  5. If you have had to lay off a lot of your staff and not sure you can operate a takeout and delivery operation you should email your laid off or furloughed staff and ask them if they want to come in to help. Perhaps you can only pay them in a free meal right now, but I think you may be surprised by how many staff members will want to help you and get out of their houses for a shift.
  6. Create a “Meal Kit” for your signature dishes, similar to Blue Apron or Hello Fresh. Package all the raw ingredients and a recipe or take a self-made video of you or chef preparing that meal and include a link to that video recipe instruction. Again, list this Meal Kit on all your digital menus, especially on your delivery apps.

COVID-19 Posts:

3rd Party Delivery Services


These are the 3rd party companies that we know of to help with delivery. The MRA is currently looking for contacts at each of these companies. Please reach out if you know of one.

Uber Eats – sign up your restaurant here

  • UberEats is temporarily stopping delivery fees for more than 100,000 independent restaurants across the U.S. and Canada and assisting with marketing efforts.

Meals in Motion – contact them here

GrubHub – sign up your restaurant here

  • GrubHub will suspend collection of up to $100 million in commission payments for independent restaurants and assist in marketing efforts.

Postmates – sign up your restaurant here

  • Postmates is dropping delivery fees by half from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on orders of $10 or more through March 31st

DoorDash – sign up your restaurant here

  • Doordash & Caviar are offering independent restaurants in the United States free sign up and zero commissions for 30 days. Existing restaurant partners will pay no commission on pick-up orders and can receive assistance with marketing.

COVID-19 Posts:

Gov. Bill Lee Permits To-Go and Delivery Wine Sales in TN


***Sales have been extended to 4/14

Gov. Bill Lee Permits To-Go and Delivery Wine Sales in TN

Sealed wine sales are now permitted in the state of TN by restaurants selling to-go and delivery orders.

Please read this pdf for the entire declaration.

It is very important you abide by the stipulations in this document.

Governor Lee issued Executive Order No. 17. This Order goes into effect at 12:01 am on March 23, 2020 and is in effect until April 6, 2020.

Restaurants and Limited-Service Restaurants (bars) may sell alcohol to go (takeout or delivery) under the following conditions.

  • Alcohol must be sold in conjunction with a food order.
  • Alcohol must be in a secure container with a lid designed to prevent the customer from consuming while driving.
  • Wine and beer may be sold by the bottle, but spirits may not be sold by the bottle. Spirits can be sold by the drink.
  • Licensees must prominently post warning re: open containers at their location. CLICK HERE FOR SIGN TO BE PRINTED AND POSTED
  • Employee or contractor (delivery services) making delivery or sale must be twenty-one (21) years of age and have a valid driver’s license.
  • Valid government ID must be inspected by the employee or contractor.
    Alcohol cannot be sold to anyone under the age of twenty-one (21) or visibly intoxicated.
  • Sales shall occur during normal state-mandated hours of 8 AM-3 AM Monday through Saturday and 10 AM-3 AM or 12P-3AM on Sundays (depending on your municipality.)

Also, please note that beer below 8% ABW is regulated by local beer boards. At this time, Metro Nashville Beer Board and Memphis Alcohol Commission have passed emergency rules allowing for the sales of beer by delivery and takeout.

FAQs FROM TENNESSEE ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGE COMMISSION – taken from this email from Hospitality TN

This blog post from Waller Law is also very helpful.

Q: During what times may I deliver alcohol or offer it to go?
A: During the times that the typical business hours of your establishment.

Q: If I run out of alcohol, can I buy alcohol from package stores?
A: No. You may only purchase alcoholic beverages from a licensed wholesaler?

Q: Will the 15% LBD tax apply to sales made pursuant to this order?
A: Please address all tax questions to the Tennessee Department of Revenue.

Q: If I am a hotel, caterer or other type of LBD other than a restaurant, am I covered by this order and may I sell alcohol for off-premises consumption?
A: No. This order only applies to establishments licensed as full-service restaurants, wine only restaurants, and limited-service restaurants.

Q: If I have a wine only restaurant within a retail food store, can customers consume glasses or bottles of wine purchased at the wine only restaurant throughout the food store?
A: No. Such activity is prohibited via a statute separate from the general prohibition on selling for off-premises consumption and this separate provision is not affected by this executive order?

Q: Does an employee who will be delivering or selling to go alcohol need a server permit?
A: Not at this time, no.

Q: Can I deliver alcohol and sell it to go after April 6?
A: No, unless this executive order is extended past April 6 or a new executive order authorizing such activity after April 6 is issued.

Q: Can I sell bottles of spirits?
A: No, bottles of wine may be sold and individual servings containing spirits, but you may not sell bottles of spirits.

Q: Must I sell food with every order containing alcohol?
A: Yes, at least some items of food must be sold in every order containing alcohol.

Q: Must we physically touch identification to verify age?
A: No, any reasonable visual inspection will suffice.

Q: Do I need an additional license, permit or permission to deliver?
A: No.

Q: Can I sell bottles of spirits?
A: No, bottles of wine may be sold and individual servings containing spirits, but you may not sell bottles of spirits.

Q: If my city prohibits the delivery of beer, may I still deliver beer pursuant to this executive order?
A: Yes. The executive order supersedes any local ordinance to the contrary. However, a city may be able to allow activity related to beer that goes beyond what is authorized by this executive order.

Q: What must the warning that is required to be posted pursuant to the executive order include?
A: The warning must include this language: “No driver shall consume any alcoholic beverage or beer or possess an open container of alcoholic beverage or beer while operating a motor vehicle in this state.” A sample will be posted on the TABC website soon at

COVID-19 Posts:

Work for the Service Industry


TN Unemployment Application

Memphis Chamber list of jobs available right now. ***This is a very long list of Memphis opportunities!

Taylor Berger has started this service:
Two Broke Bartenders and a Truck – If you don’t feel comfortable leaving your house, get help from recently displaced workers. Call 901-504-4749 or fill out the form on their website to ask for assistance. They offer to shop, pick up groceries, cook, make drinks, unclog toilets, fix doorknobs, move stuff, or anything else you need. For now, this service is employing his own employees, but reach out in case he has demand for more.

Trezevant Manor is hiringapply here.

Eagle Distributing is hiringsee info hereEagle Job Description PDF

East of Chicago Pizza Germantown has a “we’re hiring” sign on their door.

Target is hiring – here is the link.

Kroger is hiring – here is the link.

The Recruiting Manager for Comfort-Keepers-Midsouth has reached out. They are hiring and you can apply online here. They provide in-home Caregivers and Companions who attend to the NON-medical needs of Seniors in Shelby, Tipton and Desoto Counties and are currently hiring for multiple positions, shifts and locations. They require that caregivers have a personal vehicle, valid driver’s license and current auto insurance.  They typically also prefer at least 2 years of experience, but depending on the life experience of the candidates, they will consider personal/family experience in caregiving in addition to an actual facility or private care experience.


Please consider forwarding information on your displaced associates. We will forward it to the HR departments of companies that are hiring.  If you have a list of displaced employees, please send that list, along with your contact information, to

Include as much info that you have available, including the associates’:

  • Name
  • Email
  • Phone
  • Zip Code

Additionally, you can ask individual associates to submit their information directly at

HospitalityTN has partnered with the Tennessee Grocers & Convenient Store Association, the Retail Association, and the Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce to quickly connect hospitality industry job seekers to hiring companies in the grocery, retail, and logistics industries.  This new program, called “Tennessee Talent Exchange”, is designed to help transition workers from one industry in need of immediate employment to job opportunities in another industry that is current in need of an expanded workforce. Click this link for more information.

Delivery Services

Please see this post for companies that offer meal delivery. Your employee may be able to find work as a delivery driver.

Other Work

Walmart, Costco, and Amazon are benefiting and booming during this crisis. Consider applying there (or in Amazon’s case, applying as a delivery driver.)

Gig work

Shipt and Instacart allow one to choose their hours. Uber and Lyft probably need more drivers right now.

COVID-19 Posts:

Taste901ToGo Social Media Campaign


Dear Partners in Industry,

Old Dominick is very aware of the uncertain and difficult times our community is currently facing and we want to be sure our friends and neighbors in the bar and restaurant industry still feel our support. Will you join us in encouraging our local Memphians to order “to go” from their “go to” restaurant? Our hope is that by using our collective social media platforms and #taste901togo, we can create a movement in our local community and provide major assistance to our bar/restaurant partners when they need it the most.

I have included copy for Facebook and Instagram and attached an image for your platforms. The posts are built and ready to go, or feel free to make the posts your own using #taste901togo! We hope you will join us in supporting local Memphis.


Help us support local Memphis businesses! Read on! The restaurant and hospitality industry is currently facing one of the greatest challenges it has ever seen. We don’t want to see a single local Memphis restaurant close its doors for good. That’s why we’re encouraging Memphians to #taste901togo.

Here’s how you can help:

  1. Continue to order to-go, curbside, or delivery from your favorite local restaurants.
  2. Share with your friends on social media, tag the restaurant in your post and use #taste901togo.
  3. Help us spread this message by sharing with your friends.

Looking for another way to show your support from home? Check the link in the comments section! (


HELP US SUPPORT LOCAL MEMPHIS. Read on to find out how!

The restaurant and hospitality industry is currently facing one of the greatest challenges it has ever seen. And we don’t want to see a single local Memphis restaurant close its doors for good. That’s why we’re encouraging Memphians to #taste901togo. Please continue to order to-go, curbside, or delivery from your favorite local restaurants, then share with your friends on social media. Be sure to tag the restaurant and use #taste901togo! Please help us spread this message by sharing to your story!


Clark Schifani

Old Dominick Distillery

305 S. Front St Memphis,TN 38103

Sales Director

M (901) 581-0104

COVID-19 Posts:

Ways you can help

change coins
  • Donate to the Community Foundation Mid-South COVID-19 Response Fund
    • This fund is dispersing grants until April 6. APPLY NOW!
  • Donate to the Memphis Food Industry Emergency Worker Assistance Relief Fund this is a GoFundMe organized by Edible Memphis
  • Donate to the Memphis Virtual Tip Jar for individual service industry workers.
  • Donate to the Mid-South Food Bank. They have bulk buying power, so it’s better to donate money.
  • When you have a drink at home, tip a server.
  • If you order delivery or curbside pickup, consider adding $1, $5, or even $10 to your tab (on top of your tip) to give a further boost to the restaurant workers. (Thank you for this idea from a concerned Le Bonheur surgeon who reached out to us!)
  • Salvation Army Canteen is using local restaurants to feed those in need. Please donate here. It’s a win-win!
  • Old Dominick Distillery’s Raising Spirits program supports the hospitality industry. From April 17 to May 31, five dollars from every Old Dominick bottle sold at participating Memphis area liquor stores will be donated to the Memphis Area Hospitality Resource Fund, established by the Community Foundation of Greater Memphis.
  • Buy a shirt that supports the TN Action For Hospitality.
  • Donate to supports the TN Action For Hospitality.
  • #FeedTheFrontLines initiative for Memphis collects donations, then uses those donations to purchase meals from local restaurants and deliver them to medical workers.

COVID-19 Posts:

To-Go Beer Sales Ordinance Passed

corona beer

Restaurants and Associates,

We have been informed that a temporary Memphis ordinance was passed this morning to allow to-go beer sales.

You can start immediately. It covers only beer in “sealed containers” and includes bottles, canned beers & growlers.

(Our advocacy groups are continuing to work on liquor and wine sales at the state ABC level.)

MRA COVID-19 Posts:

Curbside Parking

Parking Meter

The Downtown Memphis Commission is working with the Memphis City Engineers to bag (cover) parking meters Downtown and in Midtown for restaurants to utilize for their curbside and to-go pickup.

We have been informed that no streets may be blocked (for safety purposes) and no normal traffic lanes may be used.

Please contact the Downtown Memphis Commission here.

COVID-19 Posts:

Ways You Can Take Action

Phone call

Contact these people: (Here’s how to find your elected official’s contact info.)

  • President Donald Trump (202) 456-1111 @potus @realDonaldTrump Twitter
  • TN Governor Bill Lee (615) 741-2001 @govbilllee Instagram & Twitter
  • Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland (901) 761-2720 Twitter @stricklandmayor @MayorMemphis Instagram @mayorjimstrickland
  • Shelby County Mayor Lee Harris (901) 222-2300 @MayorLeeHarris Twitter & Instagram
  • US Representative – find contact info here (upper right there is a box to enter your zip code).
  • US Senator Marsha Blackburn (202) 224-3344 @MarshaBlackburn Twitter & Instagram
  • US Senator Lamar Alexander (202) 224-4944 @senalexander Twitter & Instagram @LamarAlexander another Twitter
  • Find your state officials here.
  • Memphis Councilman Dr. Jeff Warren Toll-Free Number: 800-659-2955 Local Number: 901-494-6906 Director of Program Number: 901-222-6700

Calling is always the best way!

In addition, if you are posting on social media, please use these hashtags:

#RallyforRestaurants @action_for_hospitality #RestaurantRecovery #taste901togo

Here is a letter to share on your social media about saving TN Hospitality.

Here is another one to share started by Old Dominick.

Take the survey by Memphis Chamber – March 23-27.

Take the survey by the National Restaurant Association.

Tell Congress to Support Restaurants and Our Employees! National Restaurant Association – this form will email directly your legislators.

Tell Congress to Support Restaurants and Our Employees! U.S. Travel Association – this form will email directly your legislators.

Text RECOVERY to 52886

COVID-19 Posts:

Memphis restaurants that are open for business

Open sign

Memphis restaurants that are open for business (no dine-in as of 3/19)

MRA COVID-19 Posts: