With the spread of COVID taking indoor dining off the menu, restaurants are among the pandemic’s hardest-hit industries. Since March 2020, up to 10,000 Canadian restaurants have closed their doors. In the States, the numbers are even more dramatic—100,000 restaurants—that’s one in six—have ceased operations either permanently or Until Further Notice. While outdoor patios and reduced-capacity seating have offset some of the damage, for most restaurants, surviving the Coronavirus means pumping up their takeout and delivery options.
If you didn’t know what Click & Collect was before, you do now—especially if you’re a restaurant owner. Like “social distancing” and “community spread, “ Click & Collect is a term that has entered the vernacular of the pandemic, and it’s likely here to stay. A wide range of Click & Collect solutions let customers order their meals online from any device. A few moments of scrolling on your Smartphone, and dinner is on its way. But is that enough to revive the thousands of restaurants in jeopardy? What can we do to restore the pulse of these essential businesses?
Save Our Neighbourhoods
Minus the buzz of once-flourishing cafés and restaurants, the core of many neighbourhoods has emptied out and is almost eerily silent. Hoping to stave off yet another “For Rent” sign in their favourite lunch spot, consumers are banding together to support local businesses and save their neighbourhoods. They’re also hungry for a treat and a sense of occasion. And since we can’t go to the movies or fly to New York on a whim, the contactless pick-up of lattes and sushi have become the new big outing.
In vogue with the DIY trend, many restaurants have added “meal kits” to their latest menu items. From home-built pizzas to miso-driven feasts, these ready-to-assemble meals give a restaurant flair to dinner at home. Quarantine or no quarantine, consumers have the deluxe option to make signature dishes from scratch while still buying local and connecting with their beloved hotspots. When it comes to creativity, restaurant owners are stepping up to the plate. But lockdown is presenting yet another hidden yet expensive hurdle.
The Hidden Cost of Uber Eats
Relying on the convenience of online delivery platforms—Uber Eats, Doordash and SkiptheDishes—comes at a premium. And though these mainstream apps mean that chefs stay busy, they’re also eating away at restaurant profits. Commission fees range from 20 to 30%, placing a significant dent in an already lean bottom line. Add to that the 6% fee levied by credit card companies, and you’re looking at a significant financial hit off the top. In some regions, governments are capping third-party delivery at 20% of sales. But even 20% is major.
For the Love of Restaurants: Deliver by Linkeo
Leaders in digital marketing and easy-to-access low-cost business solutions, Linkeo was founded by entrepreneurs—for entrepreneurs. We understand the trials of running a business in the real world. And we certainly don’t want a global lockdown to prevent you from sharing the dishes you love!
To help get you through the pandemic, we’ve created Deliver by Linkeo—the Click & Collect solution that lets you keep your kitchens running without the exorbitant fees of your average delivery platform.
With a three-month free trial, set-up is ultra simple. All you need is a website, Facebook or Google My Business Page. At $99.00/month, Deliver by Linkeo comes with zero commission and zero commitment!
Making a Difference: Your Role as a Consumer
With headlines offering mixed messages of vaccine promises, alarming variants, and fluctuating COVID restrictions, the future remains uncertain. But throughout all the changes Corona has forced upon us, one thing has remained constant—the vitality of our communities depends on restaurants.
As a consumer, here’s how you can support these small businesses and give them a shot at beating the odds:
- Skip the third-party marketplaces and place your order directly from restaurants’ website or app. You could even drop in or pick up the phone like in the analogue days!
- Show your favourite restaurants some love with a rave review. Social media is today’s word-of- mouth, and small business owners count on you to post glowing feedback.
- Use your network to build a community of conscious consumers who stand behind our local businesses.
Together, let’s do what we need to do to make sure our neighbourhoods return to their full glory once Covid loosens its hold.