If you're craving food from any local restaurants but are in a time crunch, a new Avon business will bring the food you love to your home or workplace.
Dine-in Connecticut opened at 20 Tower Lane in Avon in August, according to an announcement the company posted on Patch.
"We wanted to make it easy for anyone in the Farmington Valley needing food for lunch, dinner, office meetings, or special events to have one place to go,” Joe Marinello, Dine-in Connecticut owner, said in the announcement.
You can order food from many Avon, Simsbury, Farmington and Canton restaurants for delivery to Avon, Canton, Farmington, Simsbury, Burlington or West Hartford. Dine-in Connecticut plans to expand its delivery territory to about two more towns per month and to deliver to Granby by the end of the year, Marinello wrote in an email to Patch.
"The service is a convenience and we find that we have developed a core group of customers that order several times per week," Marinello said. "We do a great lunch business at the medical offices, hair salons, car dealerships and other professional office buildings. Most employees don't have a long time for lunch so they cant go out and sit a restaurant for an hour. Businesses can order in advance online or by phone and set up lunch to be delivered at a certain time for many employees with each item labeled with the employee's name."
Delivery has long been popular in the pizza and Chinese food industries, Marinello said, so offering delivery services for about 30 restaurants expands the options. He said it allows people to "gravitate toward what they want instead being forced to choose from the same two places that used to deliver."
"Businesses, as well as homeowners, can decide at the last minute that ordering delivery would make their schedules work better for the next couple of hours, or just want to offload one of their tasks to someone else that will handle it the right way - it is really that simple," Marinello said. "I see daily schedules getting more hectic and believe that any service that brings some relief to its customers will be successful."
The delivery services that Dine-in Connecticut provide are not intended to be an alternative to going out to eat, according to Marinello.
"We start by mailing a menu guide to every home owner in the town," Marinello said. "The first waive of calls we get is to make reservations, or answer questions about the restaurants and the service. So I know that the restaurants get extra dine in business simply by the marketing that we do for them."
Dine-in Connecticut also caters for parties.
"When someone makes the decision to eat at home, they call us and let us know what to bring," Marinello said. "We can do a kid's party by bringing five pizzas, a couple of dozen chicken wings and a Carvel cake, or we can cater an event using chaffing dishes, tents, and a waitstaff."
Others order food for their friends and family as gifts, whether "during a grieving period to make things easier for them, or just to surprise someone on a special occasion," he said.
Marinello considered franchise opportunities in different industries before deciding against running a franchise "because of territory and policy restrictions" and deciding to open his own "restaurant marketing and delivery" business, he said. Given his management and marketing background, it was a good fit for him.
"The Farmington Valley was a great place to start because I have lived here for over 25 years and am familiar with all of the restaurants and demographics," he said.
Robert Wager, the operations manager for Dine-in Connecticut, worked at Bertucci's, which has a location in Avon, for 16 years. He was a manager for the restaurant chain that handled new store openings. Marinello said he is "familiar with every aspect of cooking and packaging food for delivery."
"Other offshoots we are working on are post medical procedure deliveries for recovering patients, special diet menus (working with doctors and nutritionists)," Marinello said. "We can work with school organizations to do fundraisers, charities that need food contributions, and offer advertising in our menu guides to local businesses who want to reach every homeowner in a community."
You can get food from the following Farmington Valley restaurants and businesses through Dine-in Connecticut:
- Deepwater Seafood, Avon
- The Meat House, Avon
- The Lime Bar & Grill, Avon
- Puerto Vallarta, Avon
- Toshi Izakaya, Avon
- Avon Indian Grill, Avon
- Carvel, Avon
- The Coffee Trade, Avon
- Hot Heaven Pizzeria, Avon
- Dish 'n Dat, Canton
- La Trattoria, Canton
- The Hub Bar & Grille, Canton
- Takes the Cake
- Matthew's, Farmington
- Stonewell Restaurant, Farmington
- Wood n' Tap, Farmington
- Lotus Grill Vietnamese Restaurant, Farmington
- Cugino's, Farmington
- Andy's Italian Kitchen, Farmington
- Green Tea, Simsbury
- The Maple Tree, Simsbury
- Apollo's Pizza, Simsbury
- Cracker Barrel, Simsbury
- Antonio's Restaurant, Simsbury
There is a $3.99 to $4.99 fee tacked on to the cost of your order.
You can order online at http://www.dineinct.com and see the menus there or dial Dine-in Connecticut's Avon call center at 860-673-DINE. Ordering online is quicker, according to a pamplet about the company. You can also order via smart phone.