Due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, the country’s most beloved restaurant chains, like Buffalo Wild Wings, Outback Steakhouse and Panera Bread, among others, have been forced to close their dining rooms, with restaurants restricted to only takeout or delivery orders.
But DoorDash—one of the companies facilitating many of these restaurant deliveries—has rolled out some new initiatives to bring a bit of the dine-in experience home with a new program called “The Lunchroom.”
This week, the company is partnering with a number of America’s chain restaurants, which include the aforementioned names, as well as Auntie Anne’s, The Cheesecake Factory, Baskin Robbins, Cracker Barrel, Outback Steakhouse and McDonald’s, among several others (12 in total), to bring a bit of their physical locations online through video chat backgrounds and curated Spotify playlists.
The backgrounds take users to places they haven’t been in weeks: to the red booths inside a Chili’s, to seats in front of a bar covered in TVs—playing sports—at Buffalo Wild Wings, and in front of the rows of ice cream tubs at Baskin Robbins. They’re all available for download on DoorDash’s website.
DoorDash and a few of its restaurant partners are also offering an audio element to the experience: Panera Bread, Cracker Barrel and Buffalo Wild Wings are releasing their dining room playlists to further bring their dining rooms to life at home and “recreate the energy they typically have in stores,” according to a statement from DoorDash.
In the days to come, DoorDash will also be bringing its backgrounds to Snapchat with custom Snapchat filters designed for its restaurant partners.
The intent, of course, is to recreate the atmosphere of going out to dinner with friends as much as is possible within the walls of a consumer’s own home.
“The most important aspects of going to dinner with your friends and family, going on a date, or a post-work happy hour are good food and great company, and now, you can achieve both of these inside the comfort of your own home,” a representative for the company said in a statement. “All it takes is ordering in your fave delicious meal and getting all of your friends to agree on a time to schedule a call!”
With restaurant dining rooms and retailers closed for the foreseeable future, many have been looking for new ways to connect with consumers. That’s included releasing recipes for customer favorites, as Ikea’s famed Swedish meatballs or DoubleTree by Hilton’s chocolate chip cookies, so people can make the items at home. Other restaurants are pivoting their business for the time being, selling grocery staples like eggs, flour and sugar as well as boxes of fresh produce, like Dig and Panera.