San francisco restaurants

Coronavirus Kindness: Volunteers offer free food delivery service for San Francisco restaurants and residents

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) — When COVID-19 shelter-in-place orders hit in March, a neighborhood association started a volunteer group called North Beach Delivers. Every Thursday night they deliver free food on foot, by bike or by car.

Danny Sauter, president of North Beach Neighbors, was among a group of four who came up with the idea.

Each week, North Beach Delivers partners with a different restaurant. On Tuesday morning, they publish the featured restaurant of the week on their social networks. People have until Wednesday night to place orders and choose a Thursday night delivery window.

“We actually send in a team of volunteers from the neighborhood and team up with this restaurant. It’s free for the restaurant, they don’t have to worry about delivery app markups, and then it’s free for the customers. , they don’t have ‘I don’t have to pay a fee to have it delivered, so it’s all run by volunteers,’” Sauter said.

Sauter said restaurants were nervous at first to try this, but were thrilled once they did.

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“We typically place an average of 40-50 orders each time we partner with a restaurant. And so for most of them, it’s the busiest night they’ve had in a few months,” said Sauter said.

Tips go directly to the restaurant.

“We’re now close to $50,000 in restaurant revenue,” Sauter said.

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The Russian Hill neighborhood has adopted this service on Wednesday evenings. Sauter, who is running for a district supervisor seat, hopes that service will continue to grow.

“We think it’s an idea that can exist in any neighborhood if you have a dedicated group behind it. Our hope is that if anyone wants to bring this to their neighborhood get in touch with us, we’ll help you train you, we will kindly help you with the turnover the keys to achieve it,” said Sauter.

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Sam Wo Restaurant in Chinatown is their next featured business.

“Interest continues to grow, we continue to receive more orders each week, we have a waiting list of restaurants for the next month that want to partner with us. So as long as there are interest, as long as it helps restaurants and customers, residents want it – then we will continue to do so,” Sauter said.

Casey Rouche and his wife just welcomed a newborn in early June and Sauter said they’ve been regular customers.

“I have friends in other neighborhoods who would like to have this. There is a delivery zone, and I have friends who live outside the delivery zone and they can’t really take advantage of it. We ‘Personally love and we have really great meals,’ Rouche said.

Rod Freebairn-Smith and Janet Crane have lived in North Beach for over 50 years and are also regular customers of this service.

“They just stepped in at the right time, we thought, and it’s wonderful. We’re getting a very fancy dinner and no delivery charges,” Freebairn-Smith said.

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One of the features they appreciate the most is seeing restaurateurs and their families featured in the weekly newsletter.

“We walk past a restaurant, but we don’t know, so it’s very smart of them to do that, I think, whenever there’s a face behind the menu,” Crane said.

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Noren Izakaya was the second restaurant North Beach Delivers partnered with. One of the owners, Kristy Lau, is happy to see the exhibit and the opportunity to rotate different restaurants each week.

“After the shelter was put in place our sales dropped 95%. It was the biggest night we’ve had since the shelter was put in place. Danny and his whole team have done a great job for the community .I mean, I don’t know what to say more than ‘thank you,'” Lau said.

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