On the home front

RoxStars

Well, at least the restaurants are up and running with their home delivery kits much quicker this time round. A second lockdown was not something anyone would ever have wished for, obviously, but restaurateurs agree it’s been an easier transition this time. Practice, sadly, makes perfect.

Same with you. The releases and messaging have been efficient and immediate, giving us all the information we need in a clear, concise way. Thank you.

Let’s hope you haven’t been too persuasive, though.

What’s most impressive is how many businesses have cracked the nationwide delivery conundrum. As Grace Dent pointed out over the weekend, who wouldn’t like to receive a food or cocktail parcel from the likes of Le Gavroche or The Wolseley.

I can see many restaurants embracing this extra revenue stream even after life has returned to normal. For small or far-flung places with a national reputation (Tommy Banks’s Black Swan in Olstead springs to my London-centric mind) it’s a fantastic way to get their food in front of a wider audience. All the diner needs is an oven, a corkscrew and a postcode.

I wouldn’t want to see the trend go too far, though. For a restaurant that is always full, it’s a cherry on the cake, but there is a risk for most that they will be robbing Peter to pay Paul. If you are not reaching EXTRA diners, but merely replacing bums on seats with bums on sofas, there’s a price to pay, not just in costs (all that packaging!) but also in lost service charges and mark-ups on alcohol.

It puts you in a difficult position. You need to promote the new services, of course, but not SO effectively that no one wants or needs to go back to restaurants when they do re-open. Maybe it’s worth putting some thought now in to how you will put that message across when the time comes.