Lazy Betty — Eater Atlanta’s “Restaurant of the Year” winner — is reopening in Candler Park for takeout and delivery, beginning Tuesday, April 14. The restaurant, owned by chefs Ron Hsu and Aaron Phillips, pivots from tasting menus to takeout, serving family meals and desserts.
Hsu and Phillips initially closed the restaurant in mid-March, after dine-service was suspended at restaurants in Atlanta and across the state. Earlier this week, the pair teased something might be in the works for the restaurant on Lazy Betty’s Instagram stories.
The partners used the last month to get the takeout system in place, while also creating menus and to-go packaging.
Dubbed “Lazy Betty Family Meals”, the takeout menu comprises of six different meal options — two chicken, two pork, two vegetarian — feeding up to four people. Each meal includes an entree and two to three sides. For instance, the pork family meal features bacon-crusted pork loin, apple and mushroom dressing, braised collards, and roasted potatoes. There’s also the option to add on a salad and desserts by pastry chef Lindsey Davis.
For the time being, the restaurant plans to open daily for contact-free pickup from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., and for $5 delivery within 10 miles between 12 p.m. and 6 p.m. Orders can be placed and paid for online.
Hsu says he and Phillips are scheduling staff to work in short, staggered shifts to “maximize social distancing,” allowing each employee adequate time to cope with the mental and physical challenges COVID-19 is posing right now for workers in commercial kitchens. He emphasizes that everyone in the kitchen and handling takeout food are required to wear face masks and gloves while working.
“We needed time to make sure staff was socially isolating for at least two weeks before reopening, since we weren’t sure if anyone was asymptomatic, which is why we didn’t do takeout ASAP,” Hsu tells Eater Atlanta. “We wanted to make sure we were creating a safe work environment.”
Only those Lazy Betty employees who are currently healthy after isolating for 14 days and are willing to work have been rehired to staff the new takeout program. Hsu and Phillips did have to lay a few of their employees off.
“Some staff will be hired back, but on a limited basis so that they can still collect the expanded unemployment, unless they are willing to work more, and if demand necessitates it,” Hsu says. “It was quite hard [to lay off staff], but when it’s for the sake of public health, it had to be done. They were all understanding.”
A GoFundMe campaign set up on behalf of Lazy Betty’s staff has raised over $7,000.
The restaurant is currently listed as a “Best New Restaurant” semifinalist for this year’s James Beard Awards.
Check the Georgia Department of Public Health website for guidance and twice-daily updates on the latest number of reported COVID-19 cases.