"let’s think of something a little bit out of the box"
A Birmingham-based Indian restaurant is offering in-car lockdown meals, meaning customers can enjoy a three-course fine dining experience from their vehicle.
Varanasi, located on Broad Street, will serve a starter, main course, rice, naan and dessert on trays.
It is then delivered to customers waiting in their cars in a car park behind the restaurant.
It is a venture that is thought to be the first of its kind in the UK.
General manager Abdul Wahab said:
“We thought people were getting tired of just getting a boring old takeaway now, so we thought let’s think of something a little bit out of the box, within Covid rules and regulations, to give customers a pleasant experience.”
The idea is based on business class aeroplane meals and will come with floral garnishing and a lemon-fresh wipe.
Mr Wahab said: “In business class, they like to serve you nice food, it’s nicely presented, so we thought, why not replicate the same idea?
“A lot of the time restaurants cook food and just slap it in the takeaway box and send it out.
“We are going to actually garnish everything and present it nicely so that when you get it, you’d want to eat it straight away.”
The food will be presented as though it was in the restaurant but everything is disposable to ensure minimal contact between staff and customers.
Customers phone in advance to place their order. They just have to drive to the car park and a staff member will bring the meal to their vehicle.
Mr Wahab has stated that the venture is within the current Covid-19 rules.
“The lockdown rules say you can serve takeaway food and take food to customer’s cars, and that’s exactly what we’re doing.”
The car park is not owned by Varanasi but Mr Wahab said that the restaurant is allowed to use it.
He added: “The car park where customers can park is not owned by us but it is directly behind the restaurant and has 50 spaces so we don’t anticipate it ever being too full.
“The owners have agreed to let us use it.
“There will be a bin in the car park so they just need to get out to dispose of their rubbish after they’ve finished.”
Since the third national lockdown was announced on January 4, 2021, restaurants have been required to close with the exception of takeaways, which can remain open until 11 pm.
Varanasi will be running its “business class dining” on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays.
It is set to launch on February 12, 2021, just in time for Valentine’s Day.
Mr Wahab said: “Everybody will probably want to go out and get a takeaway on Valentine’s Day, so we thought why not take up the opportunity to grasp a bit of business while people are hungry to eat out?”