Many in Taiwan’s food service industry are hurting as the COVID-19 pandemic drives business away. But at least one cook here has actually seen business boom. The reason? Location, location, location.
Ms. Chen of Chiayi is no stranger to the local jail. She is the owner of one of the few food establishments nearby, serving simple, classic Taiwanese fare. She is used to getting food delivery requests from the families of inmates, who want to give those on the inside a bit of variety in their meals.
But whereas once these requests would only come in every once in a while, they have now exploded, becoming a big part of her revenue. She estimates that business is up around 20% thanks to these calls.
It all started when people in Taiwan stopped going out so much due to fears about COVID-19. Family of inmates, too, have largely decided to stay home. Instead of visiting incarcerated loved ones and picking up some food for them on the way, they now mostly stay home and have Ms. Chen make the food and deliver it for them.
Of course, when delivering food to prisons, there are certain rules to follow. Corrections officers don’t allow any bones in the food, and they’ll only allow food to be packed in clear plastic bags to prevent anything sharp or dangerous from being hidden inside.
Editor：John Van Trieste