The COVID-19 outbreak and subsequent social distancing are affecting many folks, but one of the groups that’s been the hardest-hit is the hospitality industry, especially restaurants. So we at The Spoon are putting together a list of companies in or adjacent to the food and restaurant space who are offering ways to help foodservice establishments struggling during the coronavirus.
Please feel free to leave any additional companies in the comments section or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We’ll be updating the list. Stay safe and healthy out there!
SOFTWARE HELPING RESTAURANTS
Plenty of restaurants are trying to focus more on takeaway and delivery, but third-party delivery services can charge high fees that cut into restaurants’ already razor-thin margins. Foodetective is trying to let restaurants keep more profits in their pockets by offering free takeaway and delivery platform for restaurants — in Switzerland. Swiss restaurants can go onto Foodetective’s website and set up a profile to sell their food online without having to pay commissions to delivery services.
Maybe (more) third-party delivery services here in the U.S. will take note.
Steve Simoni, founder of smart ordering software provider Bbot, told The Spoon that they would be providing discounted setups of their software to help restaurants better support delivery and pickup. Simoni said that they won’t charge the monthly fee for their software until June 1.
“We’re trying to make it cost effective and easy for them,” he wrote to us. However, participating restaurants will need to figure out their own delivery service to partner with to actually get the food to diners’ doorsteps.
Restaurant PoS system provider Lavu Inc. just released its Corona Virus Relief plan. According to a Linkedin post by Lavu’s CEO Saleem S. Khatri, the company is no longer charging software payments to restaurants that are shut down in response to the outbreak.
Lavu is also waiving fees for Menudrive, its online ordering platform, so restaurants focusing more on delivery don’t have to pay as much to third-party services.
Finally, Khatri wrote that Lavu has partnered with an undisclosed capital partner to help restaurants in dire straits gain access to short-term capital.
RESTAURANTS REINVENTING THEMSELVES
Chef Eric Rivera is known for his wacky, creative theme nights at his Seattle restaurant addo. But in the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak, he has started diversifying addo’s offerings to cater to diners who might be cautious to dine out in a group setting.
Seattlites can order to-go meals from addo @ home, which includes three pre-prepped meals plus wine, for pick-up or delivery. Rivera has also created addo pantry, a source of dry goods, hot sauces, and more made in-house which people can pre-order for pickup or delivery (delivery comes with a flat fee). Pick-ups and deliveries for addo pantry start on 3/22.
If you’re looking for a way to pay it forward in these uncertain times, Rivera just launched addo for the people. Through the program you can purchase $9 bowls of take-and-heat food either for yourself or as donations to local charities. The bowls are currently available for pickup at addo and Rivera and his team are in the midst of partnering with charities to coordinate food drop off.
James Beard Award-winning fine dining restaurant Canlis is completely reinventing itself in the wake of the coronavirus. The restaurant will shut down its dining room starting on Monday, March 16 and will pivot the following day to offer three new dining options: takeout-only breakfast option The Bagel Shed, pickup lunch offering Drive On Thru, and a meal delivery service called Family Meal.
All new offerings will be based on the Canlis restaurant site in the Queen Anne neighborhood of Seattle, and the delivery range for Family Meal will be roughly 7 miles away from the restaurant. “Fine dining is not what Seattle needs right now,” reads Canlis’ new website. “Instead, this is one idea for safely creating jobs for our employees while serving as much of our city as we can. We’ve got this, Seattle.”
CREATOR GOES TAKE OUT
San Francisco’s hamburger restaurant, which already has robots that make its food, has gone to take out and delivery only. The restaurant has also taken on what seems like sci-fi level measures, as the company told us via email:
Our engineers have worked around the clock to create a transfer chamber that protects the inside of the restaurant from outside air yet still allows us to transport completed meals, in their hermetically sealed bags, out to customers. The chamber uses a positive pressure system combined with a self-sanitizing conveyor.
Do you know of other restaurants/online platforms/services that are helping foodservice establishments survive during the coronavirus outbreak? Comment below or send us a tip at tips@thespoontech!