COVID-19 and the impact on Foodservice - Delivery & Take-away tips

Monday, 23 March, 2020

COVID-19 is continuing to send shock waves around the world, with each week and each day bringing updates and new restrictions. The repercussions of this are growing with each restriction, and consequently are having massive impacts on the hospitality sector - small to large businesses, as well as individuals personal and work lives.

To contain COVID-19 the Australian Government has continually enforced restriction laws across the country. This has been instrumental to foodservice, as a result now bars, cafes and restaurants are now required to shut their doors to dine-in customers — so they're adapting by beefing up their takeaway options, launching new delivery meals and even creating boozy care packages.

We understand that not all establishments are in the position to offer take-away and delivery services – but for those that can, see some tips below:

 

TIME TO CAPITALISE ON FOOD DELIVERY

Food delivery services are growing rapidly because people love the convenience; and in a time where people are confined to their houses, this is where operators are making their money. See some below reccomendations:
 

DELIVERY PARTNERS

Delivery platforms like Uber Eats, Menulog and Deliveroo are helping stimulate in-store business and delivery. Menulog said it will halve all commission on pick up orders across all 17,000 partner restaurants. Like its fellow delivery platforms, they have also introduced contactless deliveries to help customers and couriers maintain social distancing. 

Uber Eats launched a series of initiatives to support independent restaurant owners and operators, including a $5 million stimulus package for independent restaurants across Australia and New Zealand, aimed to enable them to deploy and time promotions.

Another delivery partner is DoorDash, which launched in Australia last year, said it has removed delivery fees on orders from its restaurant partners and is waiving commission fees on all pickup orders placed through its platform.

There are other options available if you don’t want to hire delivery staff. These services include Drive Yello (Sydney and Melbourne) which will do it for you. Deliveroo has also announced a modified system called Deliveroo Marketplace+ with lower fees if you provide the driver. 

 

COST-EFFECTIVE FOOD OFFERS

Be selective with your delivery menu and offer your high margin dishes only. Some establishments are re-designing their menu completely for delivery. You don’t have to offer your whole restaurant menu for delivery, just items with lower food costs, such as pasta, pizza or noodle dishes. Look into Vegan and Plant-based dishes as these can often have a higher margin. You can also increase the delivery selling prices.

 

EXAMPLES OF SPECIAL OFFERS AND VALUE ADDS

DIY Take Home Boxes 

There's been a huge trend in these deconstructed meal boxes. It's a great way to sell off raw ingredients, allow for a great consumer experience to cook your meals at home and NO cooking required for you - so less resources needed.

See examples from Prince of York in Sydney who are offering at home packages for family feasting, Pourboy in Brisbane offering a delicious 'Reuben Box for 4' and SPADA Kitchen & Bar in Sydney putting forward an excellent DIY Pizza Kit for kids - a great idea for the family.  

COVID-19 - Delivery and Takeaway options

 

Three Mills Bakery is offering delivery of weekend brunch boxes that include bread, granola and bake-at-home croissants and bake-at-home sausage rolls. (Three Mills Bakery, Majura Park, ACT)

Glenorie Bakerie telling people to 'Forget the Toilet Paper!' and are selling 'Bake it yourself pies' that last for up to 3 months in the freezer - (Glenorie Bakery, Glenorie, NSW)

This coffee shop is still doing take-aways in store, but also offering a coffee subscription service where customers receive freshly roasted beans every two weeks. Additionally they're selling merch and products via the Instagram shopping platform like books, jugs and grinders (Market Lane, Melbourne, VIC)

 

This Italian restaurant selling jars of sugo ($10) and take-home lasagne for two ($30). Available for pick-up, or delivery to surrounding suburbs (Tipico, Winsdsor, VIC)

Tipico Melbourne

UTILISE SOCIAL MEDIA

It's never been more important to stay connected with your customer base virtually. Even if you're in a shutdown it's still good to maintain a relationship with your customer base and keep them informed around your business activity. Constant marketing is essential for keeping customers loyal and engaged with your establishment.

 

See an example here of Kelly's Hotel in Melbourne, using video on Facebook to encourage customers to Order and Pick-Up! Using a bit of humour and connecting with customers to show what they're doing.

 

An excellent online tool you can use is CANVA. This is a great tool to generate FREE social media graphics, presentations, posters and other visual content. In times like these, they have a variety of templates you can customise for your own business’ social media – whether you’re online doing take-away or closing temporarily.

CANVA Templates
 

There’s a huge variety of images and fonts for you to use for free to create brilliant visual ads or communication. See the above preview of some templates available, and click here to access FREE templates.
Learn more about how CANVA can help your business here

 

GIFT-CARDS

Offer Gift-Cards for customers to redeem in a few months or so – this is a great option to give your customers for when things return to normal again and they can dine-in (or still use as a take-away option).
 

USE ONLINE RESOURCES TO PROMOTE WHAT YOUR BUSINESS IS DOING

There are several groups and online communities popping up to help support local businesses during this time. A quick Google or Facebook search may help you find these groups. For example within the Sutherland Shire in Sydney, there has been an Instagram account created called COVID-19, The Shire which promotes what businesses are doing locally - See more here @covid19theshire

 


@covid19theshire showing their support to the community by promoting local businesses different intiatives on their platform.

 

Broadsheet is a great resource to promote your establishment on and to see what other venues and restaurants are doing is via Broadsheet, where they are providing live lists of restaurants and venues doing take-away options:

Live List: Melbourne Restaurants Pivoting to Takeaway
Live List: Sydney Restaurants Pivoting to Takeaway
Live List: Adelaide Restaurants Pivoting to Takeaway

They are also keeping track of establishments which are closing due to the coronavirus, temporarily or permanently. This is another platform to communicate to customers about your situation.

You can also follow them on Instagram at your respective city - Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth.

 

Gourmet Traveller, Restaurants coronavirus, COVID-19, Delivery options

Gourmet Traveller are providing and continuing to update a list online of restaurants/venues who have changed their business to take-away and are reinventing the wheel.
 

AUSTRALIAN GOVERNMENT PACKAGES

If you’re in a position where you are unemployed due to recent closures, or you’ve had to let go staff please look to see what the Australian Government is doing to help at this time. We are not experts on this topic, as it’s constantly changing.

Here, the Guardian outlines the Government’s plan to unveil an extra $550 a fortnight for the unemployed, wage subsidies for small businesses, early superannuation access, and support to retain workers.

You can also stay up to date by visiting the Australian Government website here, where they provide resources and information around these matters.