Industry conditions have been tough this year—there’s no doubt about it. But let’s not forget about our favorite restaurant destinations we know and love that are still serving up dishes and creating memorable dining experiences—even if it means enjoying them in our own homes.
In some situations, they’re doing it against all odds. I’ve been blown away by this industry’s resilience many times in my career, and 2020 has been no exception. If you can, consider supporting our restaurant friends this holiday season as they continue to reinvent their operations.
I’m sharing just a few of my favorite restaurants for ordering inspiration—both near and far. I respect these restaurants for their fantastic customer service, consistency, and of course, great food. I hope you can visit if you have the chance!
My family and I call Atlanta home, which means so many of our favorite restaurants are in the metro Atlanta area. I appreciate the variety of food options this city offers—in fact, I can get Thai, barbecue, Italian, and Mexican food within walking distance of my house. While the options can be difficult to narrow down, below are just two of my favorites right now.
La Tavola, which translates to “the table” in Italian, is nestled in the Virginia Highlands neighborhood of Atlanta and tops my list for great Italian food. This location gives customers the feeling of a five-star dining experience, while still feeling like you’re at a family member’s dining room table. That’s a difficult feat. And when you pair a great atmosphere with authentic Italian dishes—and the best bread—you earn repeat visits from the Lybeer family.
La Tavola is just one of six solid restaurant concepts that are part of Fifth Group Restaurants, a prominent restaurant group with locations across Atlanta. Their restaurants are certainly worth checking out.
Located in Smyrna, Georgia, MTH Pizza is a go-to for authentic brick oven pizza. And while pizzerias are often cited as one of the most COVID-19 resilient business models because of built-in delivery options, MTH Pizza still had to adapt. They are a full-service restaurant that experienced heavy dine-in traffic prior to COVID-19. Today, 20 percent of their business is dine-in, and 80 percent is carry out and delivery.
It was clear to MTH Pizza—part of Unsukay restaurant group—that they needed to rethink their operations in March. Features like Revel’s native online ordering solution and remote menu management can help full-service restaurants like MTH Pizza stay open for business during the pandemic.
When opening MTH Pizza, the team was exploring cloud-based systems that offered a more progressive, flexible solution. They were also facing large fees that were required to keep their legacy solution above water. I’m really glad they went with Revel.
Be sure to check out this spot—along with the three other Atlanta hot spots within Unsukay’s restaurant portfolio.
It’s difficult to narrow down my favorite restaurant destinations outside of Atlanta’s city limits—hey, I’m biased—but a few stand out to me because of how loyal their customer base is, myself included.
These guys are now a restaurant chain with more than 90 locations worldwide—including Atlanta—but I got to know the brand as a regular traveler to New York City. They started as a humble food cart in Manhattan and were loved by locals. And despite their meteoric success, they still serve fresh, quality food and provide a consistent ordering experience for their customers. It also doesn’t hurt that they’re a Revel Enterprise® client.
When considering which POS solution would be the most compatible for their growing business, Revel stood out for its ability to support franchisees, team members and their loyal customers. And loyal is an understatement! The Halal Guys loyalty app, supported by the Punchh loyalty program and Chowly delivery management services, has proven to be highly effective in incentivizing return trips from loyal customers.
The odds are good that there’s a The Halal Guys location near you. Don’t walk, run to check them out!
Prior to COVID-19, I spent a generous amount of time travelling to Revel’s San Francisco office. I consider it one of the best, most diverse cities for food, especially if you’re seeking out fresh seafood.
Sotto Mare is a quaint spot in the North Beach neighborhood famous for serving the best cioppino in the city. I haven’t met anyone who has argued their claim. One order of the crab cioppino is big enough to serve two (and maybe three) people, and I don’t think you’ll regret it.
Although our San Francisco and Atlanta teams are still working from home, I hope to be back to the west coast soon to catch up with teammates in person. I will also order a long overdue meal at Sotto Mare.
We’re all getting a little tired of cooking at home, right? As we all begin (safely) hosting family and friends around the holiday dinner table, consider supporting a nearby restaurant and forgoing the dirty dishes. The odds are good that your favorite spot has a holiday catering menu or gift cards available, and they’re ready to safely earn your business.