So, I am not really a journalist. I am a chef and restaurant owner. But I happen to like writing, which is why you will find me here in this newspaper. So, no one can get frustrated with me when I get a press release but then wait a month to write about it. Let me explain my situation. I received a press release from Skip The Dishes about their new take-out food website at the beginning of December, and I waited until January to write about it. Don’t get me wrong, I am very excited about this new website, but truth be told, I didn’t relish the thought of getting inundated with take out orders in our busiest month. So, I let the press release sit on my desk under a rapidly growing pile of invoices and pay stubs.
But now, as business has calmed down, I want to tell you about Skip the Dishes. Not right off the press release as might be expected, but of my relationship with this new program. I was visited one afternoon by two young men. I assumed they were trying to sell me something, as in my business, I often get people dropping in to sell me something. I always hear them out, cause sometimes there are some free samples involved. You’d be amazed at how many bottles of vodka I have been given to “try.”
Turns out, they had designed a new website to facilitate online ordering of takeout food. But seriously, you have to meet these guys. The CEO is a fresh-faced young lad from Saskatoon. I must admit, I was amused and slightly dismissive, but I figured if they wanted me to be involved in their high school project, why not? I sent them away, saying that I would be involved if they got other restaurants involved that were in the same category as the bistro. Figured I would never see them again.
It also turns out Joshua Simair had a history in banking, I think in England. He had high-powered accountants and computer developers involved. His website is well designed, clean and efficient, and is set up with banking level security. This was far more than a high school computer science assignment. They had already been running this successfully in Saskatchewan. Joshua and his associates came back to me with a list of names including some of the best restaurants in town. So, I had to sign up.
The set up is simple, go to their website, www.skipthedishes.ca, enter your postal code and you will be shown a list of restaurants near by. Choose the restaurant you want to order from, select the dishes you want and what time you want to pick it up. You can either pay on the secure website, or when you pick up the food. The restaurant will send you an email or text confirming your order. If the restaurant needs to, they can advise you of a different pick up time. It’s a good looking website, and they will keep the menus up-to-date better than most of us restauranteurs on our own websites. And they will only show you restaurants that are open and accepting takeout orders. So, it’s easy. Before you leave work, place your order at a variety of excellent restaurants, and pick up supper on your way home. The perfect solution for busy people.
Alexander Svenne is the food writer for Spectator Tribune and chef at Bistro 7 1/4. Follow him at @ChefAlex
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