March 2020 – Covid-19 hit. Amongst a multitude of unforeseen problems, Tim Foster (owner of Yummy Pub Co.) had £120k worth of stock. Here you’ll discover the steps he took to manage the stock, to negotiate with suppliers and how he transformed his business to continue generating revenue.
How to continue to trade while respecting social distancing? This is the challenge for many restaurant owners who refused not to trade during the lockdown. There are many solutions you can think of and among them: transforming your business into a click & collect.
So, what steps must be considered to offer click & collect to your customers?
The main challenge restaurants had to deal with after the announcement to close down hospitality businesses was stock. What to do with the food and beverage supplies you couldn’t sell? Tim Foster, owner of the Yummy Pub Co. and of several pubs across Greater London transformed his Surrey pub, The Wiremill, into a click & collect only a week after the start of the lockdown. Result? He generated, 3hours after launching his new service, more than £800 of revenue. Looking back at the moment when pubs had to close, Tim states, “Our business had 120K of stock, huge fresh food and ramping up for Mothers’ day.” So, selling the products directly seemed the right way to go.
Doing groceries is a coherent decision as there is no VAT on it, unlike hot food.
To continue/set up a click & collect, you of course need food supplies. With social distancing and a lack of staff in farms, finding supplies became difficult. As Tim Foster explains, “we spoke to all our suppliers and made arrangements. All the older suppliers had no issue, newer suppliers were a little nervous about it and made it a little tricky, however, by week 2 or 3 they were ready.”
Explain your business model to suppliers to try to negotiate with them, asking if you can delay payments and see if new ones will be willing to follow the same terms.
How do you make sure you have enough stock and adapt your offering to the demand? Tim: “For Gastro-to-go (takeaway hot food from the Wiremill) we started with around 30 dishes to get some more stability in it, we have the menu, specs and HACCP and recycled boxes which are bamboo and fully recyclable. We have changed our Cuvee and vacbag machines repackaging things and selling on using tools we have to increase life cycle and ramp up sustainability. We did BBQ packs and they absolutely flew! Everything on the menu should be something you can’t get in the shops.”
If you’re thinking about delivering food from your restaurant to customers, we have gathered a checklist:
For the products you didn’t manage to sell, you can donate them through the platform ‘toogoodtogo.co.uk’ – not only will you be helping the environment, you’ll be gaining visibility with potential new customers. 3 in 4 discovering a new store through Too Good To Go return as full-paying customers
Google have adapted to the current situation on Google Maps and customers can now see which businesses offer delivery or takeaway.