Bite Back: Vague, Yet Semi-Practical Etiquette For Ordering To-Go Food

By Dana Ferrante for Boston Compass (#124)

June 30, 2020


As Mass. eateries begin to re-open, it’s more important than ever to mindfully support local biz and treat service industry folx with respect. (Note: you don’t need the excuse of a global pandemic to start treating others like human beings). Here’s some tips on how to (safeishly) procure to-go food:


  1. Call ahead or do some quick research on social media. Each business will tackle the so-called ‘new normal’ differently. Avoid feeling guilty, and of course, endangering others by familiarizing yourself with a restaurant’s protocols before ordering food. Call or DM to see how the business prefers you place your order (third-party apps can snatch up to a third of the sale price as commission).

  2. Be kind always, be chatty when appropriate. Your neighborhood coffee shop probably misses you just as much as you miss them. But if you’re one of dozens of people waiting in an increasingly less-than-6-feet-apart line for the take-out window, wait patiently, exchange pleasantries, and gtfo of there.

  3. Recognize there will never be a perfect system—if you’re confused, don’t assume, let the service worker engage first or ask what they’re comfortable with. Wait your turn, tip well, and wear a mask!

  4. It’s Pride Month y’all: show your local, LGBTQIA businesses some love, and then some!

—Dana Ferrante

Check out all the art and columns of June's Boston Compass at www.issuu.com/bostoncccompass