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15 & 16 JUNE 2021

ExCeL LONDON

How to keep your food business going during the COVID-19 / corona crisis

How can our exhibitor Deliverect help you? 

As more cities and countries are implementing social distancing measures in an attempt to slow down the coronavirus outbreak, local businesses will feel the impact. Governments all over the world have been ordering restaurants, bars and other food businesses to close up shop - until further notice. So how can the food industry try to keep its head above water during these difficult times, and how can consumers continue to support their local food and hospitality businesses.

 

Offer delivery and/or takeaway

One way to still serve your customers is through delivery or takeaway - two options that are supported by most, if not all local governments of the countries and areas in lockdown.

To start offering delivery, you can easily sign up with a third-party platform like Uber Eats, Deliveroo, Just Eat, Glovo, etc. and benefit from their ready-made infrastructure, resources, network of riders and so on. Most of these delivery services have already implemented a “contactless delivery” policy, meaning couriers place the meal or delivery bag on the customer’s doorstep, so they can collect it without having any human contact.

 

How to get started with Uber Eats*

 

1. Head to Ubereats.com and click “Add your restaurant” in the footer section

 

2. Fill in the form with your restaurant’s info: name, address, number of locations, type of cuisine,...

 

3. Wait until Uber Eats contacts you to confirm your partnership 

 

4. You receive an Uber Eats platform starter kit which includes a tablet with the online ordering software, Uber Eats delivery bags and signage

 

5. You get an onboarding session to guide you through the software and the platform 

 

6. Uber Eats provides all the ordering, delivery and payment logistics

 

7. Your restaurant listing goes live and you can start receiving orders on Uber Eats

 

How to get started with Deliveroo*

 

1. Head to Deliveroo.com and click “Partner with us” in the header section

 

2. Fill in the form with your restaurant’s info: name, address, number of locations, type of cuisine,...

 

3. Wait until Deliveroo contacts you to confirm your partnership 

 

4. Upload your menu and schedule a photoshoot

 

5. Once you have set up your menu, Deliveroo will send you a tablet with the online ordering software

 

6. You get an onboarding session to show you how to use your Deliveroo dashboard and track your performance

 

7. Deliveroo provides all the ordering, delivery and payment logistics

 

8. Your restaurant listing goes live and you can start receiving orders on Deliveroo

 

* These are busy times for delivery providers, so please understand there may be changes and/or delays in the process mentioned above.

 

 

If you are worried you will be buried in online orders without necessarily having a lot of experience with online ordering, you can automate the online order flow using POS integration software. This solution pushes your delivery orders to your point-of-sale system, so you can easily manage your online sales channels.

 

Takeaway is another good option to offer - just make sure you pay extra attention to hygiene and distancing so your customers and personnel feel safe:

 

- Offer contactless payment if possible, and clean your payment terminal after each transaction if contactless paying isn't supported

 

- Avoid people having to touch door handles and other surfaces.

 

- Set up a disinfection / handwashing station for customers and staff.

 

- Indicate minimum distances in between customers queueing on the floor.

 

- When handling cash payments - which you should try to avoid as much as you can - wear disposable gloves.

 

If you can, try to integrate a “Click & Collect” module, an online ordering section, in your own website. It allows customers to order - and usually also pay - online before picking up their meal in-store. If you have your own delivery service, you can offer delivery with this module, as well.

 

Sell your food surplus and/or stock

A webshop on your website can also be used to sell off surplus or stock. Many restaurants may not have had enough time to sell all their perishables before closure. Offering these to your customers at a fair price can help you prevent food waste and make some money at the same time.

 

You could also try to sell additional meals with the message “Buy now, enjoy later”. This could be a way to use up fresh ingredients by preparing dishes that people can freeze for later consumption.

Items that are harder to sell, like leftovers or items that are about to expire, can be sold or donated through apps like Too Good To Go, Olio, Karma, etc.

Sell gift cards and offer vouchers

Another way to get the support of your loyal customer base, is by asking them to buy gift cards they can use in the future. You could sell the gift cards online and (e)mail them to the customer, including a thank you note or personal message.

It can also be challenging to manage cancelled reservations. At this time it is unclear how the situation will evolve and when, and some customers may not want to reschedule at all (tourists, for instance, would probably have to cancel their trip altogether). Therefore, you can try to offer vouchers whenever possible, asking customers to redeem this voucher in the future.

Think creatively

Nobody is saying you can only sell food or drinks. A creative way to do more business would be to sell recipes, ingredients and/or merchandise online. Your message could be along the lines of “Create a little piece of **Your brand name** at home”, providing your customer with a special recipe for one of your signature dishes, sides, sauces or cocktails. You could even provide ingredients or branded merchandise to be used with the recipe.

Home cooking

Ask your customers to share your incentives online

The power of social media shouldn’t be underestimated, especially in times like these. People all over the world are trying to raise money, awareness and support for local businesses. Therefore, if you start offering delivery or takeaway, start selling gift vouchers or start offering any other incentives, ask your online followers to share your stories, posts and messages as much as possible. This will extend your reach significantly.

 

Do a “spring cleaning”

 

While this situation isn’t easy for both management and staff, everyone should try to accept the scope of their work will temporarily change. Since there won’t be any diners to serve, floor staff will have to be tasked with other duties or projects. Use your time to “reset” your business and to catch up on things that you may have been putting off before, like doing inventory, cleaning, small repairs, doing some paperwork, and so on. If your restaurant is offering delivery or takeaway, you can assign people to prepare takeaway or delivery bags, fold boxes and containers, pick up the phone, deliver the meals, etc.

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