Restaurant Innovation During COVID-19

When the COVID-19 pandemic hit the world unexpectedly, everything changed overnight. In the food industry, restaurants were forced to close and adapt their business models to fit lockdown restrictions, social distancing rules, and safety measures. We've identified five GiftAMeal partner restaurants that went above and beyond to get innovative during the pandemic and expanded their sales in unique ways. Take a glance through these five restaurants and get ideas for your next meal!


20 S Belt W, Belleville, IL 62220

Photo: @beastbbqstl

Ranked as the #11 barbecue in America, BEAST Craft BBQ faces high demand from its customers. When they closed at the beginning of the pandemic, demand didn’t slow down. That’s why starting on May 20th, they started “Butcher Shop Delivery” to get their best in-house meat to their customers’ homes. Now, customers can enjoy a wide variety of meats from one of the best restaurants in the US right at home. Simply look through their menu available on and call their butcher shop (314.944.6003 Ext 3) to place your order directly. They are open for dine-in, takeout, curbside pickup and delivery!

Casa Mia Mexican Restaurant

235 Jungermann Rd #201, St Peters, MO 63376

Photo: @CasaMiaMexKitchen

Food for takeout is nothing new, but an awesome concept that emerged due to the pandemic is to-go cocktails. Before restaurants shut down for dine-in, customers would visit Casa Mia for their delicious Mexican cuisine and refreshing cocktails. When they originally closed for dine-in, Casa Mia adapted by offering frozen to-go cocktails including Margaritas and Mojitos. Now customers can enjoy one of these cocktails at home. It’s convenient, creative and satisfying. They are open for dine-in, takeout, curbside pickup and delivery!

Crushed Red

11635 Olive Blvd, Creve Coeur, MO 63141

8007 Maryland Ave, Clayton, MO 63105

140 S Kirkwood Rd, Kirkwood, MO 63122

1684 Clarkson Rd, Chesterfield, MO 63017

Photo: @crushedred

St. Louis Magazine prized Crushed Red with “Best Salad of 2020” and that’s for a reason. With their salads being extremely popular, Crushed Red decided to expand to sell to-go salads at Schnucks! For fans who don’t feel ready to visit in-person just yet, this provides a perfect opportunity to continue enjoying these delicious salads at home. You can find them at 12 local Schnucks locations, so make sure to support them and pick up one of these award-winning salads! They are open for dine-in, takeout, curbside pickup and delivery!

Pastaria 7734 Forsyth Blvd St. Louis, Missouri 63105

Photo: @pastariastl

Pastaria's organic pastas and pizzas are some of St. Louis's favorite Italian dishes. Located in downtown Clayton, their casual atmosphere is the perfect place to enjoy their Italian cuisine with your family or friends. When the pandemic forced their dining to shut down, they kept their fans happy by offering Pizza Kits for customers to enjoy their favorite meals right at home. These come with a housemade pizza dough, sauce, cheese, olive oil and toppings. If you haven't tried one of their pizza kits yet, we highly recommend you ordering one today! They are open for dine-in, takeout, curbside pickup and delivery.