With the Movement Control Order (MCO) having started in March 2020, followed by the Conditional Movement Control Order (CMCO) and the Recovery Movement Control Order (RMCO), food delivery has become part of our daily life. Getting food with just a swipe of finger just feels so natural that now most people opt for food delivery even though we are now free to dine in at restaurants. This has changed how F&B businesses operate as the revenue stream of dine-in today is not as stable as it used to be. Here's how you can adapt your F&B business to the new norm, featuring some real-life examples of what other F&B businesses have done during MCO while adhering to standard operating procedures (SOPs).
1. Leverage upon online exposure with partnership
As people spend more time on the internet, yearning for the days when they can finally go out again, promoting your F&B business through social media builds up the craving for good food, especially when there is an existing loyal customer base. This effect can be further amplified by partnering with other online presences which have their own circle of followers. The need for a good meal is always there in spite of the situation a country is in, F&B businesses just need to think out of the box to entice customers.
Yamatatsu and social media channels
Yamatatsu has been featured by several food-focused social media channels for its Japanese and Taiwanese cuisines during the RMCO. As F&B businesses that capitalise on their unique selling proposition have the potential to go viral easily, being the topic of conversation among social media users is a good way to cultivate interest which can eventually convert a group audience into customers. Online presence is the storefront of your F&B business on the internet.
myBurgerLab and Yellow Brick Road
myBurgerLab has started serving breakfast with pancakes from Yellow Brick Road during the MCO period as they couldn't hit their sales target due to bad weather and short operation hours. This cross-promotion benefits both F&B businesses as they each have their own audience, who can now enjoy food from two different brands at the same time. While there is the concern of competition with other F&B brands by joining forces, it could produce positive results too!
2. Digitalise operation with F&B technologies
Whether you are focusing on dine-in or food delivery services for your F&B business, streamlining the operation through digitalisation could save costs in the long run, aside from providing customers with a seamless experience from ordering and making payment, to receiving the food. Besides the food delivery apps that we are familiar with, there are other F&B technologies that can be implemented for contactless dine-in food ordering and online payment.
Launched in 2019, Aliments provides a POS system for F&B businesses which integrates table QR code ordering, e-wallet payments and food delivery app.
In 2014, Oddle was started by a group of restaurateurs in Singapore as an all-in-one F&B business management system that is currently being used in more than 10 countries.
3. Prioritise customer relationships
Food delivery might be a new revenue stream for many existing F&B businesses that pick it up with the purpose of adapting to the new trend. As there is often a third party delivery partner, things could go wrong due to various reasons. Hence, it is important to prioritise customer relationships by making sure the customers understand the situation to reduce frustration and disappointment when things go awry. Most customers can understand the situation with proper communication.
#GonDelivery campaign by BarBQ Plaza Malaysia
BarBQ Plaza launched its food delivery option for the first time during the RMCO under the #GonDelivery campaign in Klang Valley, where customers can have barbeques that they used to have in the restaurant at their own home. Even though there were some hiccups about missing items, they managed to solve these issues by working together with their delivery partner, Aliments, to ensure customer satisfaction.
When getting groceries is a hassle during the MCO period due to long queues, Suki-Ya has offered to deliver their hotpot menu to their customers. People are delighted that they can have hotpot at home but at the same time, people's preference in the ingredient choices could be different from what was shown in the menu. Requests to exchange menu items were taken care of to make sure customers have a pleasant experience with the available delivery options.
4. Expand revenue channels
Even with the dine-in restriction lifted, social distancing rules have limited the number of customers allowed to dine in at one time, reducing the revenue that a restaurant can earn for a day. Besides exploring food delivery opportunities, there are other revenue channels that are proven to be doable for F&B businesses such as selling vouchers in advance, offering weekly or monthly meal subscriptions, and even frozen ready-to-cook meals.
Ready-To-Eat meals by PichaEats
As one of the PichaEats' main revenue streams is food catering, social distancing rules have significantly affected the business. Hence, they have introduced Ready-To-Eat Meals in bundles so that their refugee chefs can continue to cook and provide delicious Arabic food delivered to customers. This helps sustain both the business and the livelihood of their chefs without relying on the option of food delivery alone.
Gift Wrap - KGB
KGB - Killer Gourmet Burgers has introduced Gift Wrap where customers can order their loved ones a burger which comes with a preloaded gift card. While food delivery is fairly common these days, ordering food for someone else the way we order flowers is quite new in the F&B industry. This indirectly promotes the gift cards without direct selling, which could slowly become a revenue stream for the F&B business.
Compared to other types of businesses, F&B businesses have been quick to adapt to the new norm of bringing the business online. There are many successful case studies of how F&B businesses thrive using good strategies such as those stated above. Plan accordingly and implement wisely, F&B businesses are here to stay for the foreseeable future.
Special thanks to Aliments for the content collaboration on this article. Aliments empowers next-gen F&B businesses with an ultimate dining experience and a revenue-generating system to grow and scale. Foundingbird's clients can enjoy 90 days free when subscribing to Aliments' services.