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.
➡️ Transforming your business into a click & collect 📲
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.
Negotiating with suppliers
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.
Dealing with supply and demand
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:
✅ Respect HACCP procedures in your restaurant (make sure your team wash their hands regularly for at least 20secs, sanitise your work station after each preparation, wash kitchen tools and chopping boards often)
✅ Have PPE ready like masks and gloves when handling food
✅ Buy a thermometer for each member of your team to check their temperature and see if they are fit to work
✅ Place sanitiser at the entrance of the restaurant for delivery drivers and customers
✅ Respect the government’s requirements concerning social distancing by marking a perimeter on the the floor with tape for each member of staff to respect (in the kitchen and in the restaurant)
✅ Each member of the team needs to know what they’ll have to do to avoid interactions as much as possible
Planning your menu
✅ Make sure you adapt your menu to delivery service by simplifying your offer and making it easy to deliver
✅ Prioritise readily available products to reduce costs
📍 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
Promoting your delivery/ takeaway service
✅ Update your offer (menu, service available…) on your website
✅ Communicate opening times through social media & email
📍 Google have adapted to the current situation on Google Maps and customers can now see which businesses offer delivery or takeaway. Update your Google listing now