Casual dining has been in some trouble for a while now--let’s recall that even before March of this year, the segment was getting t-boned, undercut in cost and value proposition by fast casual, and rendered generic and dated by upstart independent eateries. They were stuck in the middle, in every sense of the phrase--between generations, economic classes, and the urban/rural divide, fast casual was built for everybody but seemed to be appealing to relatively few.
Amazon came a step closer to unmanned package delivery with its recent FAA approval for Amazon Prime Air, its drone delivery program. The company can now begin testing the service with actual customers, having demonstrated to the FAA’s satisfaction that the program is safe through its tests in controlled environments.
When I turned 30, I gave up driving entirely. Your humble blogger, you see, has a bit of an aggressive personality, and I came to realize that I was making myself and everybody around me miserable when I was on the road (I also got like 4 tickets in two months, surely a soCal record). My abdication of the drivers’ seat was well-timed, however, and I easily transitioned from the front seat of my Civic to the back seat of the burgeoning ride-share economy.
Last week in the parking lot of our local McDonald’s, I had my first Happy Meal in over twenty years (four-piece McNuggets, fries, and a Sprite). My boyfriend had found an online coupon, you see, which gave us a kid’s meal with the purchase of an extra value meal. I didn’t want to cook, he didn’t want to go through the hassle and wait for delivery, and we didn’t want to spend too much money.
I’ve always known we were going to get out of this phase of the pandemic, but this week was the first time I actually could see it playing out. Indeed, what has been a distant promise is slowly becoming a tangible future as concrete plans are being laid across the nation for a gradual relaxing of social distancing standards and a reopening of shuttered businesses. While logistics and timetables are going to vary from state-to-state, county-to-county, and even city-to-city, examining California’s recently announced, four-stage reopening plan offers our first real glimpse at what our new normal will look like and how we will get there.