Canada’s Hoot Company Launches Busy Restaurant Delivery Service In Days

Canada’s Hoot Company Launches Busy Restaurant Delivery Service In Days

As the pandemic erupted, restaurants in Canada and across the world have had to turn off dine-in service and figure out how to get up and running, fast, with delivery.

In a new case study, we interviewed Edmonton, Alberta’s Hoot Company, which operates five restaurants, including Dorinku Tokyo, Dorinku Osaka, Japonais Bistro, DOSC Steakhouse, and Seoul Fried Chicken.

Without hesitation, Hoot Company pivoted to delivery. But as they did, they wanted to both keep costs low and continue paying employees. That meant shunning third-party apps in favor of building delivery in house. They looked around and, for many reasons, picked GetSwift as their delivery management software. Hoot Company’s IT Architect, Alex Kagel, explains why.

They got up and running in days, and three weeks later, they’re up to 250 deliveries per week. Here’s the story.

Photo: Hoot Company

How Restaurants Can Compete In a World of “Take-Out or Delivery Only”

How Restaurants Can Compete In a World of “Take-Out or Delivery Only”

Over the past few years, many restaurants have started offering delivery as a way to boost sales and to meet the demand for more convenient food options. However, there are still many restaurant operators who have held off and stayed firm to their dine-in culture. But once the pandemic hit, and social distancing has become a key part of preventing the spread of the novel coronavirus, it’s forced their hand. If your restaurant, bar, or cafe has had to start delivering, we’re here to help. Here are a few things you can do to set yourself up for success. 

Reduce The Size of Your Menu 

The first step toward staying competitive is to improve efficiency and reduce costs. You can do this by reducing the size of your menu. Maintaining a full menu during this challenging time will only increase your food cost at a time when you need to save. Charlie Jeffers of Ordermark suggested asking yourself: What are the items that are easy to produce and get out the door quickly?

“What they need to do is trim down their menu, look at the items that are easy to procure and produce, so they can make a menu and put it up online and make easy items they can get out that are going to travel well,” Jeffers told the Spoon.

As you work on reducing your menu offerings, try to keep in mind which items travel well. Pizza, for example, travels well. Items like steaks and seafood will be more of a challenge. That doesn’t mean you’re in trouble if you own a steak and seafood restaurant, it just means that you’ll want to put your focus on fewer items so you can deliver the best experience.     

Include New Offerings Where It Makes Sense

Although we just discussed reducing the number of items on your menu, you may want to consider adding a few items that tailor specifically to people that are bound to their homes. Because home quarantine includes entire families, it makes sense to offer complete meal options and larger family-style servings for those who have several mouths to feed.  

A lack of dine-in customers also means a lack of alcohol sales which can put a big dent in your profits. Consider offering beer and wine options for those who still want to enjoy a drink or two with their meal but don’t want to (or can’t) make a trip to the liquor store. 

Offer Meal Kits

During a time when families are looking for ways to stay occupied in their homes, offering meal kits can be a win-win for both your restaurant and your customers. You can choose a few of your most popular dishes, making sure to include one or two that are “kid-friendly”. For each meal kit that is ordered, provide all of the ingredients needed to make that dish and a list of simple instructions to go along with it. Not only will your customers be getting a delicious meal, it will provide a fun activity that the whole family can share in. For more  information on this, and other ideas like it, check out this article from QSR magazine.  

Do It Faster and Better

For restaurants and many other businesses, delivery is a must right now. This means you are now competing with many others who may have more experience with delivery, but you can still come out on top by doing it better and faster. Our delivery software allows you to automatically turn orders into delivery jobs, dispatch to drivers, and optimize routes. Not only will it help you conquer delivery, but it can also help you improve customer service and actually grow your business with options like real-time delivery tracking and the ability to communicate with your customers throughout each step of the process. 

The world is changing, especially for those in the restaurant business — but that doesn’t mean you can’t still come out on top. Contact a member of our team to learn how GetSwift can help.   

GetSwift Helping Restaurants Deliver Free Meals to Florida Seniors and Disabled Adults

GetSwift Helping Restaurants Deliver Free Meals to Florida Seniors and Disabled Adults

During Covid-19, with food banks overwhelmed by high demand and seniors and those with underlying conditions told to stay home to protect themselves, there’s a huge need to deliver warm meals across the country. A pilot program in Florida called Meals of Love–of restaurants, government agencies and nonprofits–is stepping to the plate, literally.

Coordinated by the Florida Department of Elder Affairs, Department of Business and Professional Regulation, Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association (FRLA) and Feed The Need Florida, local restaurants will deliver up to 1,000 meals every day to those in need across four Central Florida counties: Orange, Seminole, Brevard and Osceola. GetSwift’s delivery technology is there to help them all organize, track, and route the meals.  

Anyone over 60 and disabled adults between 18-59, can apply to get warm meals from a group of local restaurants right to their doors. Restaurants can apply to help, too, right here.

It’s no small effort to coordinate on the fly.

“This ambitious endeavor would not be possible without the technology GetSwift will provide to organize orders, schedule drivers, and provide logistics to ensure timely, accurate deliveries,” said Skip Kimpel, Chief Information Officer at 4R Restaurant Group, whose restaurants–4 Rivers Smokehouse–will be providing meals seven days a week.

As drivers come onboard, GetSwift’s delivery phone app gives them an easy way to see all their upcoming orders and saves them time with optimized routes. Restaurants can track all their orders, give ETAs and live-tracking to seniors waiting on their meals, and make sure the meals are on track to be delivered on time before any problems arise. 

The initiative is also important for the restaurants industry, which has taken a big hit as most restaurants have had to close on-premise dining and figure out how to survive with only delivery and pick-up. 

“The local restaurants are preparing meals and, by that way, there are dollars that are being infused into that restaurant industry, one that has been hit so hard,” Karla Radka of the Senior Resource Alliance, one of the nonprofits involved, told the local ABC station

The initiatives don’t stop there. Radka is also calling seniors to see if they have enough medication and food for 30 days, according to the Orlando Sentinel. 

All these groups, including us here at GetSwift, coming together–both the public and private sector–is the only way to start to meet the tremendous needs of Floridians and people across the country in the coming weeks and months. 

“Now is the time to stand united as we meet one of the greatest challenges we face as a nation,” said GetSwift’s CEO Bane Hunter.

Hammel of 4 Rivers Smokehouse shared a similar sentiment. “Now, more than ever, we need to take care of each other,” he said

If you’re a senior or disabled adult in Central Florida in need of nutritious meals, you can apply for Meals of Love here, and the Meals of Love team will be in touch via phone/email with more details. Restaurant operators can sign up to help right here

Photo by Tristan Le from Pexels

How To Keep Your Business Going During the Coronavirus Outbreak

How To Keep Your Business Going During the Coronavirus Outbreak

It was on February 11 that the World Health Organization announced the official name for the disease responsible for the current worldwide pandemic and they called it Covid-19. A little over a month later, just about every business is feeling the effects of the Coronavirus outbreak as more and more places are being closed to prevent its spread. So, what are business owners to do if they are subject to mandatory shutdowns or are experiencing a decline in foot traffic because the majority of the population is staying home to weather the storm? In today’s post, we’d like to explore some ways that you can help your business despite the current state of affairs. Here are a few things that you can do to make it through this challenging time in history.

Offer Home Delivery If You Don’t Already

One of the fundamentals of business is to be where your customers are, and since so many people are currently staying home, it only makes sense that you find a way to come to them if they can’t (or won’t) come to you. Many restaurants already take advantage of home delivery services like GrubHub or UberEats— but what if you’re not in the restaurant business? 

Over the past decade, we’ve seen a major change in e-commerce with Amazon leading the way. Over time, home delivery has expanded to other sectors such as grocery stores, meal delivery, and even liquor stores. Although this sector has been growing, not everyone has been able to make the leap — but now is the time. If your business doesn’t currently offer home delivery, there’s no better time to start than the present.

Offer Curbside Delivery If Possible

Most people have heard about restaurants offering curbside delivery, but why can’t other stores offer this service as well? Even if your shop is closed to walk-ins, you could still offer curbside pickup for orders that are called in or placed online. The point is that you’re still able to get your goods to the consumers who want them, while still taking good safety measures. 

Do More With What You Have

Even businesses that already offer home delivery or curbside pickup are feeling the effects of a slower economy. Although you may be doing the best that you can, there’s always room for improvement. Now is the time to optimize your business and find creative ways to do more with less. Chances are, your deliveries will increase. How will you manage if you can’t hire more drivers or people to manage dispatching? The best way to handle a boost in your deliveries is to find a way to become more efficient. Complete each delivery in less time by organizing multiple orders and optimizing routes. You can also automate dispatching to keep up with demand, allowing members of your team to focus on other important tasks. Finding ways to get better and more efficient at what you do is something that will not only help you now, but it will make your business that much stronger in the future.

Increase Communication With Your Customers 

As millions of consumers are spending the majority of their time in their homes or away from others, it’s more important than ever to make sure that you’re still communicating with them. People will be spending more time on social media to pass the time, get news updates, and stay connected with the outside world. This is your chance to stay connected and let people know that you still exist and can provide the goods or services they need. 

Make Positive Changes

Keep in mind that you won’t be the only business reaching out to potential customers, so it will still be as important as ever to focus on providing the best experience possible. This means communicating order details, delivering faster than your competition, and following up to ensure you exceeded expectations. 

In this difficult time, it’s easy to lose hope — especially when you see your sales plummet. However, you can take active steps that will make a difference for your business now, and in the future. At GetSwift, we can help you do more with less. Contact us today to speak with a member of our team about our delivery management software.

How Coronavirus is Affecting the Local Delivery Business

How Coronavirus is Affecting the Local Delivery Business

Over the past few years, the business of local delivery has been increasing steadily as companies continue to push to compete with corporations like Amazon and Walmart. Restaurants have been some of the biggest contributors, with grocery stores not far behind. However, no matter your industry, the recent coronavirus outbreak has made it more important than ever to be able to reach your customers outside of your place of business. We’re going to explore how this recent epidemic is changing the face of local delivery and what you can do if your business is struggling to keep up. Here are just a few ways that coronavirus is having a big impact on the local delivery business: 

Increased Demand

Demand for local delivery has understandably skyrocketed. Delivery volume on GetSwift’s platform increased by 130% after social distancing began in the US. While demand is on the rise in just about every sector, no other industry has seen a bigger impact so far than the grocery business.  According to a recent article, grocery delivery is seeing the biggest boost. In fact, in the last month alone, downloads for Instacart increased by over 200%. Unlike restaurants, most grocery stores haven’t actually shut their doors. So, what is the reason for the sharp increase in online ordering? 

There are likely several reasons why people are choosing to shop from their phones instead of going to the store. First, people are frustrated with experiencing empty shelves and long checkout lines. They are spending more time going from store to store trying to find what they need. And, some people don’t have the time to be able to go to the store when they have children home from school. So much emphasis has been put on “maintaining a distance” and “self-quarantine” for those who are at-risk, that many people have really started to heed the warnings. This means the grocery delivery business will continue to thrive until stores can keep up with stocking the shelves and people feel comfortable about leaving their homes again. 

Rise of No-Contact Deliveries

Another way that the coronavirus has impacted deliveries of all kinds is the rise of “no-contact deliveries”. Because there is even a concern that delivery personnel could transmit the virus (or get it from those whom they are delivering to) many companies are choosing to offer options that allow the receiver to designate a place where their delivery can be left without having to actually make contact with the delivery person. DoorDash is one of the latest to alter their delivery practices to meet the growing concern over the transmission of the Coronavirus through delivery services. They recently changed their default delivery option to “no contact” — although customers still have the option to change it. 

Similar in purpose to no-contact deliveries is the rise of curbside deliveries. This allows patrons to stay in their vehicle while their order is delivered to them. This is a popular and convenient option for people wishing for a meal from their favorite restaurant but not wanting to wait for a third-party delivery service to bring it to their home.      

New Players

Not every business was prepared to meet the exploding demand for take-out and home delivery, but many are jumping in to do what they can as quickly as possible. With mandatory closures in place, businesses must have other outlets to make a dime otherwise they may risk having to close for good. Expect to see home delivery, takeout, and curbside delivery expand into other areas beyond food and beverage. In fact, if you have a favorite place of business that you’d like to purchase from, you might want to contact them ahead of time to see if they can fill your request even if their doors are closed to customers. 

Get Help From GetSwift

Is your business having trouble keeping up with the demand for delivery? GetSwift can provide you with innovative technology that can help you automate dispatching, optimize driving routes, and keep in touch with your customers. There’s never been a better time to excel at delivery. Putting the right things in place now can help you get through this difficult time and set your business up for long-lasting success. Contact a member of our team today to learn how our delivery software can help you keep up with the pace of local delivery.