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Beginning October 19, Chicagoans will have a new dining option when FOODWORKS — which gives local restaurants the opportunity to expand their audience by operating in office buildings, universities and other dining venues — opens its first Market Café in the city. Located at 300 N. LaSalle, the new Market Café 300 provides a daytime dining experience by creating a safe environment that gives visitors the opportunity to discover Chicago’s restaurants, along with local coffee roasters, artisan bakers and packaged goods.

“Now, more than ever, we understand that guests are looking for convenience and a contact-free dining experience where they don’t have to compromise their ability to have great food from their beloved local restaurants,” said John Coker, president of FOODWORKS. “We can’t wait for visitors to stop by the new Market Café 300 to enjoy a fantastic meal, cup of coffee or snack – and feel good about helping small businesses in the community thrive.”

Market Café 300 is powered by FOODWORKS’ model that gives local restaurants, many of whom have been impacted by a downturn in business due to COVID-19, the resources and support they need to expand their audience. Guests benefit by having a rotation o local food and beverage options come directly to a convenient location – all under one roof, providing a personalized yet contact-free dining and retail experience. Freshly prepared grab-and-go sandwiches, salads, and artisan baked goods will also be available for guests on the go.

When Market Café 300 launches, featured partners will include a variety of new and established local brands, including:

  • A full-service Tradecraft Outfitters Coffee & Tea Bar managed by trained baristas offering Colectivo Coffee, as well as Kombucha and Nitro Cold Brew on tap
  • Rotating local restaurant partners serving options such as healthy bowls from Aloha Poke, Italian specialties from Freddie’s Beef, and fresh Mexican cuisine from Flash Taco, to name a few popping up in October
  • Cookies and pastries from Chicago bakery, Poppie’s Dough
  • Pre-packaged artisanal salads, sandwiches, and wraps, as well as snacks and snack boxes from Wisconsin-based Jack and Olive
  • Artisan goods such as goat milk soaps, peanut brittle, natural honey, and candles will also be available for purchase from local vendors around the Chicagoland area and Midwest including Black Crow Candle Co. and Ms Jana’s Candy

New Technology Creates a Contact-Free Experience

A completely contact-free and cost-effective dining experience, all Market Café 300 guests will be able to order through a single mobile app, whether they want to purchase made-to-order meals or select from a variety of grab-and-go menu options. The new app also allows guests to scan, pay and leave, without ever interacting with a cashier. In addition, the app provides the option to order and pick-up items from a designated shelf to easily maintain necessary social distancing.

High Safety and Quality Standards Give Customers Peace of Mind

Each restaurant partner must adhere to stringent safety practices and quality standards. Prior to serving guests in all FOODWORKS locations, chefs and staff of each featured restaurant must participate in food safety, sanitation and hospitality training programs designed in consultation with some of the nation’s leading health and safety experts. Beyond the contact-free environment, the new technology helps manage the café’s capacity to make social distancing easy for everyone who arrives.

In addition to its locations in New York City, FOODWORKS has plans to expand the Market Cafe model in other locations, including Houston early next year. 


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