Texas Roadhouse on Lawrence Road. March 31. (Bridget Reilly)
Texas Roadhouse on Lawrence Road. March 31.

Bridget Reilly

Texas Roadhouse provides different food options amid the pandemic

April 1, 2020

Texas Roadhouse has initiated a new form of food selling to its market as a means of contributing to the community during the COVID-19 pandemic. Natalie Fruend, Texas Roadhouse server and criminal justice junior, said the company has changed to a technical grocer.

“We’re selling raw meat and we also have Family [Packs] and a Survival [Pack],” Fruend said.

Dalton Klasse, service manager, said the Family Pack includes a variety of cooked items.

“So we have the Critters, the ribs, pulled pork, the sirloin packages — two 8oz and two 6oz sirloins; we cook them to medium by default on that, [but] we can do it on request to a different temp. It comes with a half pan of salad — you can do a normal house salad or a Cesar salad and get any dressing you’d like on there — and then you get four sides with your choice of mashed potatoes, corn, chili, french fries and green beans,” Klasse said. “It’s a pretty cool deal, and we’re doing that for $49.99 to feed a family of four. I think it’s a pretty good thing going on right now.”

The Survival Pack includes the same things except for it’s uncooked with a couple of additional items.

“The Survival Pack is essentially the same thing except we have a loaf of bread that goes with it [along with] a pound of butter, and the steaks come raw so you can cook them at home,” Klasse said. “We throw our sirloin seasoning in there so you can have the taste of Texas Roadhouse. The rolls come frozen and it has directions on there that teach you how to cook them, make them and everything like that. You also get a roll of toilet paper, because you know how everyone has been going around and taking it all up. [This pack] is the same price.”

If that amount of food is too high, Texas Roadhouse is also selling raw steaks.

“You can call ahead and give us about an hour to get them all put together in a pan then you can come to pick them up,” Klasse said. “You can have them vacuum-sealed by request so you can take them home and freeze them. They’re all half-price right now. We are selling some ground meat right now, and those are $5 per pound. It’s pretty tough on ground beef; I went to Sam’s the other day and they were wanting $9-10 per pound.”

Texas Roadhouse
Bridget Reilly
Texas Roadhouse waitress Katie Palmore and waitor DaMarcus Wilson play kickball 6 feet apart to pass the time in between to-go orders. March 31. Photo by Bridget Reilly

Klasse said Texas Roadhouse’s whole menu is still available except for a couple of items.

“The only thing we don’t have, unfortunately, is prime rib,” Klasse said. “So we can’t do the prime rib and we can’t do the portabella chicken because we’re having trouble getting the portabella mushrooms in. Everything else is full-service just as if we were dining in. We’ll bring it out to your car, make sure everybody’s wearing their gloves and keeping a safe distance trying to do the best we can to make sure nobody is getting sick.”

Texas Roadhouse offers a variety of different ways to order cooked or uncooked meals.

“You can either call ahead and call-in your order, you can order online or you can pull-up and we have a makeshift drive-thru setup or just curbside to-go setup,” Fruend said. “If you’re ordering raw steaks, you have to call ahead.”

According to Fruend, the number of servers on-the-clock at a time has been cut because of the pandemic.

“Usually, [there are] around 10-16 [are on staff at a time] depending on the day and depending on how busy we’re expecting to be,” she said. “Regularly, whenever we were a full restaurant, we had up to 30 servers and to-go, and that’s not including kitchen staff.”

While this is a trying time for most restaurants, Fruend said Texas Roadhouse has done its best to ensure employment for its employees.

“It’s really nice. I know people who are unemployed right now because they’re servers, but Roadhouse does a good job to take care of us as servers and has made it their priority to make sure we are able to pay our bills and take care of [ourselves] while they take care of us,” Fruend said.

Klasse said that while safety measures are being taken, they still want to try to have fun while at work.

“We have some little games out here, but it’s kind of tough to play games when everybody has to sit six feet apart,” Klasse said. “We do the best that we can. Luckily, we have a lot of our Roadies come up here who will drop off some food throughout the day for everybody.”

Texas Roadhouse is open from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. every day of the week.

According to the Wichita Falls City’s shelter-in-place ordinance, restaurants are allowed to remain open as essential businesses as long as there is a drive-through method of ordering and picking up food/beverages, delivery methods are provided or curbside service is offered. In all scenarios of how food/beverages are ordered, customers must leave within five minutes of receiving their purchase(s).

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