Over the last couple of weeks, we’ve seen a number of brands from across the food and drink industry coming together to provide acts of kindness.
Pret a Manger has offered free hot drinks and 50% off food to NHS Workers, craft beer brand BrewDog has switched its production line to hand sanitisers rather than beer, and burger chain Honest Burger teamed up with charity London Harvest to deliver thousands of cottage pies and lasagnes using leftover meat from its restaurant closures.
But what does this mean for independently run establishments?
We know that many of you are likely to have been impacted by the necessary restrictions recently put in place by the government. So, we wanted to provide you with some tips to help your business through these extraordinary times.
1) Waste not, want not
If you normally provide a fresh food offering, then you are likely to have produce in your fridge or cupboard which will be going out of date while the country is in lockdown. Have a think about how you could prevent that food from going to waste.
The Ginger Café in Sheffield recently shut its doors to protect its staff and customers but managed to donate all short life produce to a food bank to support its local community. Charitable acts of giving will be remembered by your neighbours and customers when life begins to return to normal.
2) Provide a takeaway service
To date, the restrictions imposed on the hospitality and leisure industries haven’t put a stop to takeaways. So, if you’re able to offer such a service, you could provide it on a temporary basis to local residents, so they can still enjoy your offering from the comfort of their homes.
Buntings of Walthamstow is now offering their fabulous selections of tea’s, coffee and cakes delivered hot and fresh to the doorstep of nearby customers!
3) Expand your offering
Diversifying your menu to add new foods, drinks or essentials, could create an opportunity to entice new customers.
Two Ways in Bristol has just obtained a licence to sell alcohol! This is a great way to cater for those having celebrations while in lockdown, keeping spirits high (pun intended!) and ensuring their customers still feel special.
4) A time for giving
Take this time to plan ahead. While you may be closed for business for the time-being, the lockdown won’t last forever, so make sure you’re prepared for when it is lifted. Perhaps try diversifying your offer, by stocking gift cards or allowing people to book an occasion at a later date.
Nicky B’s Cakes & Catering is selling vouchers for an Afternoon Tea for two, to ensure their customers have something to look forward to once this is all over. These are redeemable whenever we can all get out and about again.
5) Up your social presence
Temporarily closed doesn’t mean that your outlet needs to be forgotten about. With the majority of the country now working from home, it has never been more necessary to have a voice on social media. This can be done in several ways but remember to shout about any services you may be offering and provide your customers with positive inspiration to encourage them to support your business.
You can also get creative and think of ways to keep your local community entertained. For example, Nonsuch Studios in Nottingham has launched ‘Creative Quarantine’. This campaign provides inspiration for its followers to undertake new activities, encouraging consumers to engage with the outlet across social media and share their creative adventure.
Another idea might be to offer interactive ‘cook-a-longs’ to some the favourites from your menu. Bread Ahead, the London based bakery, started doing daily bakery tutorials on Instagram Live and has accrued 25,000 new Instagram followers as a result.
Get in touch today to find out how we can help you provide takeaway coffee in sustainable Frugal Cups! To find out more, drop us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.