Social distancing protocols and a stay-at-home order have forced families to stay indoors more than ever. That’s why ResQ BBQ is going straight to the people.
About a month ago, the catering company, which also operates a grill at the Evergreen SportsPlex near Leesburg, began parking its food truck in neighborhoods for a few hours at a time to give quarantined families a chance to leave the house and pick up dinner. Co-owner Chuck Meyer said his company has been using the Nextdoor app to communicate with HOAs and let residents know about their visit. He said they’ve already hit about a dozen neighborhoods, mainly in Leesburg, and are planning to visit more in Lucketts and Round Hill.
“The response I got was incredible,” Meyer said about visiting neighborhoods. “Now it’s starting to catch on.”
Meyer said that while ResQ has seen business remain about the same overall since the coronavirus crisis hit, it’s been more difficult to keep it that way, since he’s doing in three hours on a weekday what he typically does all day on a Saturday. At each neighborhood, he’s getting about 60 orders, most of which are larger orders for families. Meyer said that while parked in the River Pointe HOA’s swimming pool parking lot last Thursday evening, he had 35 preorders and about a dozen more come in later.
ResQ also partners with the Hershey’s Shake Shop ice cream truck, which gives residents the option of dessert after a barbecue dinner. Meyers said he also is coordinating with Jambalaya Bros. to ensure they’re visiting different communities on any given day.
Meyer said people are loving the chance to get out of their houses for a bit around dinner time and that, contrary to the negative social effects that social distancing protocols are having on the community at large, he’s seen some neighbors meet each other for the first time while out buying dinner.
Meyer said ResQ is now focused almost entirely on neighborhood visits, since the catering aspect of his business has dried up with the governor’s stay-at-home order in place. He said three weddings ResQ was set to cater in May were canceled, as was the Town of Leesburg’s annual picnic around Memorial Day. Meyer said he’s aiming to visit a different neighborhood every other day so that he has time to cook food in between days.
“Really the only avenue we have is to go out to these neighborhoods,” he said. “It might be our new normal.”