Dreaming of hot summers and picnics on the beach? Help is now at hand as a restaurant in Lahinch is now offering hampers for its customers unable to dine inside due to the current Covid 19 restrictions.

The hampers are the brainchild of Randy Lewis, owner of Randaddy’s restaurant on the promenade; just one of his many new business ideas which are proving popular in lockdown.

“As customers can’t come inside or sit on the patio, I decided why not bring Randaddy’s food ‘al fresco’ to them. The beach is 100 metres from my front door, so no transportation costs and hopefully no waste, it’s totally sustainable. We will be also using local suppliers such as Meere’s Pork products and St Tola Goat’s cheese as well as other local suppliers when possible.”

Two hampers are available; one for families and the other is for couples. The Family Adventure basket contains Randaddy’s corn nachos, with spicy black bean and tomato salsa, a choice of pizza rolls as well as cookies and drinks for all the family.

For couples, there is the Tapas for Two; a platter of cold meats and Irish cheeses, caramelised onion hummus, Mediterranean roasted vegetables as well as a choice of drinks. The hampers include everything you could possibly need for a picnic on the beach with plates and glasses as well, an insulated cool bag to keep your drinks and food chilled. There is also a waterproof blanket and wind breaker included.

As the lockdown starts to ease, Randy believes that eating outside will become more popular, particularly for restaurants like his which have a large patio.

“It’s early days yet and people are still cautious but there are signs that things are improving. Last week saw the reopening of Lahinch car park which I believe is a turning point as more people can access the beach and my restaurant,” he said.

“Normally at this time of year Lahinch beach would be buzzing with tourists soaking up the sun and enjoying the waves but sadly it’s a different story today. It’s difficult to know how the season will pan out, it’s been devastating to the tourism industry here,” he added.

Despite his restaurant closing down, Randy has been coming up with new ideas to diversify and promote his business. These include creating recipe videos online on his Social media channels and launching a new takeaway service, immediately after his main restaurant closed.

“The feedback has been phenomenal – it’s been amazing to see the messages come through and the positivity from people who are so happy that we’re doing this – that we’re staying innovative and keeping going ” he said.

His latest project is The Pizza Creation Box – an idea borne out of the popularity of his takeaway pizzas and the need to keep people engaged in his restaurant.

The box contains all the ingredients needed to prepare two Randaddy’s pizzas at home and includes four portions of cookie dough. It has been proving extremely popular especially with families, not least because the winner of the best pizza creation will be included on his menu when the restaurant reopens at the end of June.

“During the lockdown, food has really brought families together; whether that is sharing meals at home, having takeaways or sharing my recipe videos – it’s all positive and I am happy to have helped in a small way with that,” he added.

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