I am really amazed at those business which have survived this year, and I have been looking around recently for some amazing success stories, simply because of the brilliant creativity which so many have shown. Recently I was chatting about this very subject to Rick Andreoli Montreal chef and restaurateur, who of course felt the pinch when the lockdown happened. Even though things have opened up a little bit recently, things are nowhere near back to a point where restaurants can once again make the money that they were previously.
Rick and his team did brilliantly to weather the storm and these are just some of the things which they did.
When the cash flow stopped the restaurant decided that it would offer up coupons for sale, to regular customers. The idea was that the customer would buy a coupon worth $50, and in return they would be given $65 of credit to be used in the restaurant. This helped bring some cash in which was then used to pay suppliers and employees.
Sharing The Knowledge
Another smart step which Rick took was to share his cheffing skills with the rest of those people who were stuck at home. Rick then did Zoom calls with groups, and did a cook-a-long which meant that people had something entertaining to do, and they learned a little about cooking. Rick charged a reasonable fee for this and he was able to both bring awareness to the restaurant and make some money for the business. Once lockdown eased up a little, Rick continued with these classes but the restaurant also made DIY kits of ingredients which it would sell ahead of Rick’s class.
Rick said that in the past home deliveries was never something which he or his team wanted to do, because they felt that the quality of the food would be diminished by the time it got to the door. Recognizing the need for this, Rick decided that the best thing the restaurant could do, was to make pizzas and ship those out. They invested in a wood oven, a possibly risky move given that no money was coming in. The operation got up and running and they only offered 3 types of pizza, which meant that ordering and using ingredients was much more cost effective and manageable. The pizzas sold out in a day, and the team realized that they were on to something which would see them through. Even now that they have reopened at 50% capacity, the restaurant haven’t forgotten how popular those pizzas were, and they have kept on selling them.
These are the steps which businesses have to take to survive, they can often be difficult and they do require creativity. What Rick and his team have done is shown outstanding business acumen and the level of focus which you need in order to maintain the business during a crisis, which is exactly what has happened.