Beckta, a storied upscale restaurant in downtown Ottawa, was buzzing one recent day, but it wasn’t because of diners. The second-floor dining room was converted into an assembly line where staff were packing three-course dinners into paper boxes.
Dozens of these kits with lamb shank confit, prawn lettuce wraps and espresso tarts, along with a wine pairing, stood ready to be delivered to diners’ homes by one of the restaurant’s in-house drivers.
Beckta began offering them in May 2020. They’re such a big money maker that the restaurant cancelled its lunch service and reduced opening hours. It now operates five days a week and is employing a record number of staff.
It’s even made restaurant work, usually a gruelling affair with long hours, something with a work-life balance, owner Stephen Beckta said.
“For me personally now, my workday is probably eight to six most days,” he said. “I used to do a lot of nights in the restaurant,…