Operators tailor their offerings and recipes for off-premises dining

Quality control in restaurant delivery has come a long way since Domino’s first encouraged its customers to “Avoid the Noid.”

As consumers increasingly adopt off-premise consumption via delivery or takeout, operators are reworking their menus, recipes and cooking practices so that their dishes retain their flavor and integrity in transit.

Building a menu for delivery

Seaside’s, a Chicago-based delivery and take-out restaurant operated by Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises, also has created a menu of dishes that hold up to the challenges of delivery.

“Some food is more delicate than others,” said Bill Nevruz, executive partner at Seaside’s. “Picking items that travel well first and building a delivery-only restaurant second was the strategy.”

He said the restaurant’s menu, which includes fried chicken, barbecued ribs and side dishes, holds up well to the rigors of delivery.

Not all of the items that Seaside’s considered made the cut, however. The restaurant had experimented with a whole steamed lobster, for example, but the dish was compromised by “carryover cooking” in transit, and the item was abandoned, Nevruz said.