In Session 5: “Driving Online Revenue” presented by Silverware POS, our panel of experts discussed what industry trends they worked with, witnessed, or executed and how these changes may fare going forward. Our panel included: Michael Thalassinos, Sales Director at Silverware POS, Brian Deck, CEO of Smooth Commerce, Oren Borovitch, Co-Founder & COO of Kitchen Hub, and Emma Knight, Co-Founder & Head of Brand for Greenhouse.
If this pandemic has taught us anything, it’s that no one can predict the future, and diversification and quick adaptation are vital to success in the foodservice industry. Understanding how these panelists rolled with the punches to drive online revenue can help your establishment not just survive, but thrive.
Check out the biggest takeaways from this Rapid Recovery Series session below and review the recording of the entire session and download the presentation deck here.
#1: Look to occasion-based eating
Both Oren and Michael spoke to the opportunity for operators to build out packages, or offer higher-end items that can be sold for special occasions. As consumers need to celebrate birthdays, anniversaries, and even graduations while staying home, restaurants have the chance to provide customers with the option to purchase luxury dishes and alcohols (or packages with these put together). Oren and Michael indicated that while pre-COVID, consumers wouldn’t be inclined to purchase for example, a tasting menu for delivery complete with a bottle of wine, in a COVID world, consumers are looking to celebrate their occasions with something new, different, and exclusive.
#2: Offer value through partners
Emma and the Greenhouse team found success with their Plant Pantry – a collection of plant-based treats, goodies, and sustainable products. With a fleet of refrigerated vehicles, it made sense for Greenhouse to deliver their bottled juices straight to the customer’s door. However, they found that many of their partners had lost their distribution. As Emma points out, “they had freshly roasted beans but no way to get them into consumers’ cups.” The Plant Pantry brought together all of these partners in a fun box to be delivered directly to customers. Not only did it solve an issue for Greenhouse’s partners but by offering a way for consumers to get those favourite brands and products in a convenient package, Greenhouse offers value for buyers.
#3: Take advantage of fast-changing consumer habits
Oren points out that for many, COVID-19 has “fast forwarded business by three to five years.” For example, creating a more holistic digital dining experience, with playlists and backgrounds that provide the feel of a restaurant. Oren also speaks to how the “over 50 demographic has been ordering delivery through apps at a much higher pace than in the past.” Going off of this Brian and Michael also spoke to the importance of providing customers with grocery, produce, and pantry staples during COVID. As many of us saw throughout the lockdown, groceries stores had long lines, and product shortages. Many restaurants jumped on this opportunity and provided items like flour, yeast, and eggs to customers.
#4: Safety first
All panelists echo that safety is of the utmost concern for customers not just now, but going forward. While Greenhouse prides itself on sustainable practices, working with the reusable glass bottles no longer became viable during COVID-19 and instead, they opted for more single-use products. Contactless payment and delivery have become incredibly important and expected by consumers during COVID-19, and panelists believe it will continue to do so. Customers are demanding that foodservice operators follow health and safety best practices, and they want to see it in action even upon reopening.