The Grackle

Observations, Reflections and Miscellany from the Wacoan

The New Normal: Waco and COVID-19

Waco Restaurants Adapt & Give Back

4 years ago

By Claire Van Zee

Two weeks ago, Common Grounds owner Blake Batson called up his buddy Kyle Citrano, managing partner of George’s Restaurant and Bar and president of the Waco Restaurant Association, to try and figure out a way that they could give back to the community during this time.

Batson came up with the idea for their new endeavor, Waco Delivers, after heading to Hillcrest Hospital to deliver some coffee and doughnuts that someone had called in for those working hard on the front line.

Waco Delivers helps the community in two ways. One, it sends warm food, drinks or whatever you’re ordering to those working hard to take care of others during this time. And two, it helps to support local restaurants and businesses by supplying them with customers.

How it works:
1. Reach out to the business/organization/individual that you want to send food to and verify any restrictions they have for receiving food.
2. Choose from the list of participating restaurants at
3. Contact the restaurant directly and pay for your order. (Minimum of $25)
4. Let them know you are ordering for Waco Delivers and who you want it delivered to.

The pair found themselves in a hard spot as they discovered that Common Grounds, George’s and many other restaurants were being asked for donations, while they themselves were also dealing with having to let employees go and business being slower than ever.

“We were trying to find a way to support local restaurants, and the best way to support restaurants is to give them business. We were also trying to find a way for people to support those on the front lines, including nurses, doctors and firefighters and really just anyone in need,” Citrano said.

The pair also had community members calling them up and asking how they could help but found themselves not knowing how to offer advice without encouraging them to leave their homes. So, along came the making of Waco Delivers, which essentially waves the delivery fee for those ordering for someone in need.

According to Citrano, the hardest part of the situation for George’s has been the customer service aspect, as they’re not getting to interact with customers in the same way anymore. “You’re so used to having people come in and giving them a handshake or pat on the back, thank them for coming in and taking extra special care of people. You just can’t do that with a mask and gloves on. It’s way less hospitable than it’s ever felt,” Citrano said.

So, while times are hard, if able, think about sending someone a warm meal through Waco Delivers and help to support local businesses during this time. Everyone is in need in some way today, and it’s the little things that make the difference.

Here is a list of currently participating restaurants. Be sure to check for updates.

900 Degrees Pizzeria
Barnett’s Public House
Boardwalk on Elm
Club Sandwich
Common Grounds
Harvest on 25th
Heritage Creamery
Honky Tonk Kid BBQ
J-Petal and Poke
Milo All Day
Oh My Juice
Raising Cane’s
Revival Eastside Eatery
Slow Rise Slice House
Stone Hearth Indian Cafe
Vitek’s Market