Yes, it’s another toilet paper story. But this one isn’t about hoarding.
Michelin-starred French bistro Gap Year at Nico is offering a free roll of toilet paper with all orders over $50 starting Friday, March 20 — while supplies last.
It’s a limit of one roll per customer (so don’t even think about trying to hoard more). The move was motivated by (unsurprisingly) the toilet paper shortages in San Francisco and beyond during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
“Gap Year’s staff began joking about including toilet paper as a side on our takeaway menu,” owner Andrea Delaroque wrote in an email to SF Weekly. “Since Gap Year has a lot of commercial, individually wrapped rolls stored, the idea became less of a joke and a way to hopefully add a touch of levity and lightheartedness to the current situation.”
Offering toilet paper along with your food order a pretty interesting way of enticing customers when you’d think the Michelin star itself would be enough. But Gap Year at Nico isn’t the first restaurant to make such a deal. In Portland, Ore., Pizza Schmizza offered a free roll of toilet paper with every $15 pizza. In Chicago, the Beacon Tap did something similar.
Restaurants in San Francisco have been hit hard with city orders to close dine-in service, and now the order by Gov. Gavin Newsom for all Californians to stay at home, but many are still marching on with takeout, delivery, and curbside pickup options.
For example, Gap Year at Nico will be offering a rotating menu for delivery and pick-up. First up includes a chicken pâté en croûte with fermented carrot and mustard ($18), poached white asparagus and Dungeness crab anglaise ($23), braised chicken and cabbage potée ($36), turbot and cod bouillabaisse ($36), as well as a bunch of fun after dinner options like fruit and chocolate tarts ($8) and a cheese plate ($22).
You can place an order by calling 415-359-1000, emailing firstname.lastname@example.org, or by using a third party service like Caviar.
UPDATE: Gap Year at Nico has decided to stop selling toilet paper as a $2 add-on. This article has been updated to reflect the change.
Grace Li covers arts, culture, and food for SF Weekly. You can reach her at email@example.com.