There are evenings when you just don’t feel like making the effort to go out for dinner but still fancy something delicious, without having to go to the effort of preparing it yourself. That is where the Fine Dine-In evening delivery service steps in, bringing you your favourite dishes directly from the restaurant to your front door, in a matter of around 45 minutes or less.
Owner Ken Moore established Fine Dine-In in 1999, initially attracting around eight restaurants which wanted to take part in this new venture.
Ken says, ‘I produced a magazine that listed the menus from which customers could make their orders and the idea caught on so quickly that we had to have the magazine reprinted within two months, as many more restaurants wanted to be included.’
The Fine Dine-In magazine is now reprinted every six months, to ensure that menus are kept up-to-date and further restaurants included or dropped, and the latest version (June to December 2006) includes 28 restaurants, coupons to local businesses and local advertising.
Hurricane Ivan caused major setbacks for the Fine Dine-In business, with drivers, on whose shoulders the success of the business largely falls, losing their cars and leaving to focus on rebuilding their homes and day time businesses.
However, Ken says that there has been a renewed vigour in the restaurant industry in recent months, with the Fine Dine-In service now fully operational since September 2004, despite the staggering increase in prices that restaurants on-island have had to cope with.
He states, ‘The market has never been more competitive for restaurants. They currently have to cope with a 35 per cent increase in costs (ranging from food to electricity to rent) yet they must absorb these costs and not pass them on to the customer. Customers would not tolerate such an increase in prices and the restaurants would be out of business if prices were raised to such a degree.’
That said, there have been a great number of new restaurants developing in recent months, adding to the diversity and choice for Fine Dine-In customers.
Ken says, ‘I try to ensure that I include a good cross-section of restaurants in the service, from high end to cheap and cheerful, as well as a variety of different cuisines, to give customers as much choice as possible.’
Exciting new restaurants slated to be open this year and to be featured in Fine Dine-In include Macabuca at the Cracked Conch in West Bay, which will be open this month, Guy Harvey’s new restaurant, called Harvey’s Island Grill, situated next to the Hard Rock café in George Town, and the long-awaited inclusion of a sushi restaurant, Paradise Sushi, are included in the new July to December issue.
Ken says that restaurants do not pay upfront to be included in the Fine Dine-In service, and they are not obligated to remain. The exposure that they get from being included is like having an extra table at the restaurant, but without the added overheads, such as wait staff. Ken, on the other hand, can pick and choose which restaurants he wants in, to ensure the best mix. He says this works well on both sides, because it is a relationship built upon a mutual desire to work together.
As well as the magazine, of which 35,000 copies are distributed locally, Ken has also developed a website www.finedinein.com for added ease of ordering. Customers are charged CI$6 for each order per restaurant and the minimum order is CI$20. The system is zoned (West Bay, Seven Mile Beach and South), to ensure the speediest delivery, although customers can order from restaurants outside their zone, at an additional charge.
Ken says he had to introduce the zone system this year because the increase in traffic was causing severe delays for his drivers, and delivery times of 45 minutes or under could not be assured. He says that the system has worked well and he has tried to make sure that each zone has a good a mix of cuisines and prices to suit all customers.
As an extension to the basic service, Fine Dine-In also provides a range of DVDs for rent as well as the ability to purchase wine, beer and spirits. Dinner and a movie have never been so easy.
Call 949-Dine to order from 28 restaurants or go to www.finedinein.com for added ease of ordering. Customers are charged CI$6 for each order per restaurant and the minimum order is CI$20. The system is zoned (West Bay, Seven Mile Beach and South), to ensure the speediest delivery, although customers can order from restaurants outside their zone, at an additional charge.