Safely expanding your business to include a delivered food service
Focus on what is in your control…
You can’t know, no one can, when Covid-19 restrictions are going to be lifted nor what the ‘new world order’ will look like afterwards.
But, you can make plans for your food business, whether it is a restaurant, cafe, pub, take-away or works canteen. Plans to ensure that it both survives the impact of the government imposed restrictions and thrives in the probably very different market place which will result.
Covid-19, and the impact it is having, is both a severe threat and a massive opportunity to many types of business. We see lots of food based business looking at the opportunity which ‘delivered food’ represents. The current crisis is acting as a catalyst for innovative people to rethink their business model either to ensure survival or to facilitate growth.
The business case for delivering food…
There has been an increase in food businesses delivering to homes over recent years. In part this is due to the advent of suitable technologies and delivery services such as UberEats, Just Eat and Deliveroo etc.
The current pandemic and the restrictions imposed have accelerated the pace at which many businesses are now considering either adding to their outlets through home delivery or moving to home delivery as the sole business model.
Only you have the information available to make a business case for changing your point of service to include delivering food. While it may be tempting to just jump in and start gearing up to deliver your food to people in their own homes – it actually makes sense to crunch the numbers first. For example, if you own a restaurant 30 miles from any centre of population where people come because of the remoteness and the ambience you provide the business case may be harder to build than for a cafe in a wealthy suburb no matter how good your food.
BBC Radio 4 recently aired a programme titled “Takeaway transformed: Inside the food delivery revolution”. The program looks at businesses, including Dark Kitchens which solely focus on providing food for home delivery. To listen to the programme you can use BBC Sounds – https://www.bbc.co.uk/sounds/play/m000h7lq. It doesn’t address the detailed considerations for your business but it does help identify some of the issues especially during the lockdown.
Food, staff and customer safety as part of the evaluation…
Making sure that the food your business serves is properly and safely prepared and served is already likely to be a major element of your kitchen and business controls.
With home delivered food your business is adding in the additional risk factors of
- remote customers (with no face to face contact),
- increased time from kitchen to table
- the delivery mechanism
Each of these new risks to your business need to be considered and you would need to implement appropriate safeguards to ensure that clients and staff (and ultimately your business) are not endangered.
All food and drink that you serve / sell / deliver has to be fit to eat
This is the basis on which all UK & EU food law is based. It covers alergen laws, food hygiene, staff training & tracking.
The following guidelines have been drawn up by acknowledged experts – Ruth Dolby (Food Science Fusion) and Louise Roberts (Alimenti) – in order to provide the basis for your business to consider moving to delivering your food to homes. These are general guidelines and need to be applied with an intelligent approach to the many different sorts of business which might consider home food deliveries. If you are unsure how your business should apply the guidelines or you are concerned that your particular circumstances might need a slightly different approach then we recommend that you talk to an expert.
For the duration of the Covid-19 epidemic Ruth Dolby is offering 2 hours of free consultancy to any business considering the move to home food deliveries.
We recommend that the documents presented are branded with your business name and logo before being put into use. Editable (Word) versions of the pdfs presented here are available – please email Jo at FS Fusion to request that they be sent to you.
Short term or long term – are menu changes necessary?
If, after all considerations you decide to move to home delivery, or office delivery to key worker on the front line, are you looking for short term or planning for long term? Are you looking for some individual support?
An expert, such as Ruth Dolby, will walk you through things like the practical evaluation of which of your recipes will travel well? What instructions you should give to your clients ensure that their food is enjoyed at peak condition.
Getting top quality food to your clients is critical to the success of your home or office delivery venture. Giving maximum satisfaction for each order helps to ensure the spreading of the ‘word’ about your food and ultimately the success of your business
Ruth Dolby, Food Science Fusion [email protected]
Louise Roberts, Alimenti [email protected]