Glenn Garner has an idea for families with homebound senior relatives who are looking for better meal-time options when it’s hard to get out to eat.
Garner, a veteran in the food truck and catering business, is rolling out a new service. It’s aimed especially at seniors and anyone who may be stuck at home and would like good food prepared for them that they can refrigerate and reheat.
His plan, which he says is still in the developing stage, is to deliver diner-quality meals twice a week to people in their homes. Menus will vary for each meal. He’s planning prices of $5.99 for breakfast, $6.99 for lunch and $7.99 for dinner.
Garner stressed his program should not be confused with any government-connected food delivery service. “It’s out of my pocket,’’ he said, referring to how the service is paid for on his end.
While his target audience is home-bound senior citizens, he said anyone is welcome to sign up. "Could be it’s people my age (late 50s) who don’t want to cook,’’ he said. “So I’m delivering twice a week, four-day and three-day packages.’’
Garner said the reason for twice-weekly deliveries is to guarantee freshness and good taste. He’s experimented with a variety of menus and came to the realization that the food he’s serving isn’t as good after a maximum of four days in the refrigerator.
“I’ve been working for the last 10 years to get a menu that will work and taste just as good coming out (to my restaurant) as it will coming out of the microwave at the house,’’ he said. “The four days is a stretch. By that fourth day, you need to have stuff we know is going to hold up.’’
He added that there’s not a safety issue with the food after that long. Rather, he can’t promise four days later that the food will taste as good as the dishes he serves fresh to his restaurant customers. His opinion is based on close to 40 years as an operator of food trucks, catering businesses and restaurants.
All the food will be prepared at Garner’s newest restaurant, The Diner, by Chef Glenn and Company. It is located in the former Becky’s Cafe at 3740 South Main St. in Hope Mills. “We (will) put it in to-go microwaveable containers,’’ Garner said.
Sample options for breakfast include boiled eggs, scrambled eggs or an omelet. Meats for breakfast include bacon, sausage links, sausage patties or corned beef hash. Hash browns or home fries will also be available.
For those who want a simple lunch, he plans to offer a cold sandwich every day with chips and a fruit bowl. He’s got some bad news for hardcore vegetable eaters, though. “We can’t do broccoli or asparagus,” he said. “That’s out of the question.’’
Garner stressed that in the early stages, things are going to be fluid. He said he’ll have to see how it works and how it’s received.
At the time of this writing, he was scheduled to share information about his planned service, along with menus, at a meeting of local health care providers who work primarily with the senior community.
“They know if their customers at home need food service,’’ Garner said. He added that with the exception of government-based programs, there’s not a lot available for the homebound seniors group when it comes to economical food delivery choices.
He said he knows one local family of three who are all disabled and have restaurant food delivered by a company that specializes in that area, charging a delivery fee in addition to the cost of the food. “They were paying from $60 to $70 per meal,’’ he said.
Garner said his initial target delivery area will be Fayetteville, Hope Mills, Raeford and Gray’s Creek, with the possibility of adding Spring Lake at a later date.
In a perfect world, if the idea takes hold, Garner would like to prepare his meals in a facility separate from The Diner and deliver them in his own fleet of trucks.
He stressed he’s not looking for government support. “To have good, quality food, it’s not a hot dog or a peanut butter and banana sandwich,’’ he said. “It’s not what I want to do. That’s where I’m going to draw the line. I don’t want to serve an inferior product to make a dollar.’’
To inquire about signing up for Garner’s delivery service, call 910-705-2664. He can also be reached by email at email@example.com or on his Facebook pages, The Diner by Chef Glenn & Company or A Catered Affair by Chef Glenn & Company.
Photo: Glen Garner