From Cheat Day to Treat Day: Turn Ordering In into Fine Dining

By / Food / October 9th, 2019 / 13
Elevate food when ordering in

You may be thinking it, but we’ll say it: staying in is the new going out. We’d rather eat our body weight in cheesy beef burritos in the comfort of our own home than have them served to us in a restaurant. We rationalize spending five bucks on delivery plus tip for anything from fast food hamburgers all the way to soft-serve ice cream. What a time to be alive!

There’s an app for that

With ordering apps at our beck and call, famished patrons can “add to cart” until their food cravings are satiated. This explosion of accessing meals online has made it so much easier to get virtually any type of food delivered straight to your door. The mere thought of placing an order face-to-face with another human being (or worse, over the PHONE) instills such a dread that we’d very nearly rather just cook at home. Very nearly.

What changed?

It’s not the restaurants… it’s you. That’s right: consumers are likely to continue eating restaurant food, just not in the actual restaurant. Our growing appetite for food delivery stems from a lack of time to spend in the kitchen, a love for convenience, and a distaste for waiting in lines. It almost justifies the hour wait for the food you’ve ordered and paid for from your phone. Consumers spend some $200 per month on takeout; at that price, shouldn’t they be enjoying so much more than just the taste of the food itself?

Elevate your dining experience

There’s nothing particularly glamorous about eating out of a carton. But just because the okra tikka masala you usually order from your favourite restaurant comes in a plastic platter shouldn’t distract from its excellent quality. Here are some quick tips on how to upgrade your experience.

Say “No” to complimentary place settings

Start small by requesting that utensils not be included with your order. Use those gorgeous porcelain soup spoons you bought when you order ramen. Or pull out your stainless-steel chopsticks for your plate of soup dumplings. If you bought appetizers to share, place everything on serving dishes so people can help themselves. Doesn’t that already sound so lovely?

Thematic drink pairing

If you’re not quite into the idea of dirtying more dishes, we get it. You can be in charge of getting the drinks instead! How about a citrusy white wine from Greece to go with your fried calamari? Or perhaps a dry Spanish rosé to go with that paella? Take a look at our Ultimate Food and Drink Matching Guide for more inspiration.

Thinking outside the (takeout) box

If you feel like your dishes are missing something, improvise! Get creative in the kitchen with what you already have. No spicy mayo? Mixing Sriracha sauce with mayonnaise will do the trick. Finessing your plating game? Garnish with basil or parsley. Listen to your gut; it doesn’t take much to make a good dish even better.


A self-proclaimed bookworm and logophile, Laura loves writing; writing about food is about as good as it gets. Though she enjoys discovering new restaurants around Montreal, few haunts can surpass the simple pleasures of a great home-cooked meal and a smooth glass of wine.

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