If the saying goes ‘necessity is the mother of invention’ then the urgent necessity to innovate through the UK’s hospitality lockdown arrived in March. Indeed, if you’d have told us a year ago that we’d spend June recording our Return Ready podcasts or building reopening checklists then we might not have believed you.
Over the summer we continued to support our clients, whether it was sourcing new suppliers, integrating new mobility technology, or creating central production kitchens. This immediate breathing space allowed them to focus on lowering costs and to generate revenue with an estate that was suddenly shut, and a customer base that was loyal yet nervous to leave their homes.
We’ve collected four standout ideas to celebrate their achievements, with strategies we’d love to see our brilliant hospitality industry adopt.
The offer: Following the success of the My Iftar and My Eid boxes, MyLahore went national with their Sharing Box – for 2 to 5 diners.
Why we like it: Run through catering and events business The Marquee by MyLahore, this proven method was not only COVID friendly, but brand building beyond their Manchester, Midlands, and London bases. They also added a Banquetting Box and accompanying fresh ingredients to their Uncooked Range.
We love the look of these old-school puddings in their Eid dessert box!
Engagement: Parogon Pub Group
The offer: Running on Facebook, customers were invited to ‘show off their plating skills’ by submitting photos of their orders once home.
Why we like it: The group’s eight individually branded venues needed to kick start their summer with an easy to administer marketing campaign that brought attention to their collection menu. With a small weekly window (open Thursday to Sunday), this social action put the emphasis on genuine customers making their product look good – all for the price of a bottle of prosecco.
The offer: Fuel by Fooditude is built to reflect the modern office. Some days might see some teams meeting with social distance. Other days may see entire floors empty. Either way, workers need feeding with quality, well-rounded lunches.
Why we like it: This service does away with long-term contracts at a time when some organisations don’t envisage a wider return until 2021. You can order once, or subscribe; the power is in the customer’s hands. We also like the clarity provided by example menus and indicative prices, so you get a fairly quick idea if the service is right for you. Plus, the packaging is compostable!
Technology: Ten Kites
The offer: Caternet Menu Publishing partner Ten Kites, launched Menus on Mobile – allowing guests to access menus on their own mobile device.
Why we like it: This not only says goodbye to wasteful printed menus but saves time and money when updating websites and other digital channels, especially at a time when head office employees might remain on part-time hours. Kitchens can quickly add or remove dishes in response to availability and sales. For Customers, they can check out menus on a now mobile-native display.
This is especially good timing, ahead of the planned mandatory calorie labelling laws.
Caternet has over a decade of helping multi-site operators manage their food business with time and money-saving software. We understand getting it wrong can become very costly, very quickly; and damage your brand. Get to know how our platform works when you read what we do.
James Waldron is Marketing Manager at Zupa
Are you looking for more environmentally friendly ways to serve your customers and your community? You may like Food-to-go: Five fast ways to go green!
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