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.