Kiera Blessing

Order & delivery helps Zukku Sushi keep the takeout rolling in temporary ghost kitchen

When the Covid-19 outbreak began forcing restaurants to close their doors to guests, Zukku Sushi faced a unique dilemma: each of its three locations is housed inside a food hall.

With its three restaurants occupying cafeteria-like public spaces, they were among the first eateries to shut down, leaving Zukku’s flagship location in Tampa inaccessible, even to staff. So the restaurant’s leadership got creative.

Ferdian Jap, a partner at Zukku, said he and his partners reached out to a friend in the business – a restaurant owner whose kitchen was underutilized due to the outbreak – and launched their own version of a ghost kitchen. Thanks to their online ordering platform powered by Paytronix, Jap and his partners have been able to keep operations running across all three locations.

“We’ve used Open Dining for a while now,” he said, “so we have a good list of customers that we can market to using the email system. Even though we’re in a completely different location, our customers are still ordering from us and we’re reaching out to them to come support us.”

Zukku used the email addresses collected from previous online orders and a pop-up on its website to direct guests to the new location for takeout and delivery. Jap acknowledged that it has been an adjustment for the chefs to work in a new kitchen alongside the other restaurant’s employees, but the Paytronix Order & Delivery platform has made it easy for them to remove the items that can’t be made without their usual equipment. […]

Spotlight Series: From Beer to Hand Sanitizer

As the restaurant industry deals with massive change, we’re spotlighting the brands that are spreading positive messages and uplifting their customers during this isolating time. Many have lessons to teach us all as they work to foster a deep emotional connection with their community.

Dogfish Head

It was the first thing to disappear from the shelves when the coronavirus started spreading westward, before the flour, the milk and even before the toilet paper.

Hand sanitizer in every form and scent has become a precious commodity, and our typical supply chain couldn’t seem to make enough of it.

Enter Dogfish Head, a brewery in Delaware. Though they’re best known for their ales, Dogfish Head has been distilling spirits in the First State for close to 20 years. Seeking a way to support its local community, the company committed a portion of its operation to making hand sanitizer with gin and Aloe Vera gel.

“I never thought Dogfish Head would be in the sanitizer business. But this is a time of crisis, and necessity is the mother of invention,” says Dogfish Head founder said Sam Calagione. “It is our duty to do what we can to keep as many people safe and healthy in our community.” […]

Keep it Human: Communicating During COVID-19

Communication with guests is always important, but during times of change, transition or challenge, it’s paramount. With so many businesses having to totally rethink their standard approach due to the Covid-19 outbreak, the Paytronix team has compiled a list of communication best practices.

Exercise empathy

This is a scary time for everyone – including your guests. Make sure they know you’re a brand they can trust by being transparent about your operational changes, safety precautions, and closures or new operating hours.

Just about every brand out there is sending messages conveying what they’re doing to mitigate the virus’ spread, so ask yourself what information you really need to share. For example, everyone is washing their hands more now, so focus instead on what your brand is doing differently that will foster a sense of comfort and trust in your guests. That can be as simple as telling guests you’re closing down in the interest of their health as HuHot Mongolian Grill did.

As a rule of thumb show an awareness of the struggle many people are going through, welcome feedback from your guests, even if it means asking for it, and above all, stay true to your brand.

Keep your guests informed 

If you’ve shut down operations, make sure your guests know about it, and be sure to explain why. Consider adding a footer to your emails or a banner on your website to keep them updated about closures and plans to reopen.

If you’re still open, remind your guests of your hours, which locations are in operation, and how they can place an order. Prioritize online ordering with hyperlinks or banners on your site. Make sure they are in a bold, obvious place, and consider giving discounts or double rewards points for takeout and delivery orders.

Be sure to let guests know about any additional services you’ve added to minimize contact, like contactless delivery or curbside pick-up. If you have a dynamic concept, consider how you can continue to provide value in nontraditional ways. Host, a company that offers bartenders for hire, has pivoted to sending regular “Drink of the Week” cocktail recipes to its subscribers via email. They’re still providing a service while tailoring their approach to fit within social distancing guidelines.  […]

When You’re Ready, We’re Here: Using Gift Cards to Boost Sales

It’s no secret that restaurants nationwide are hurting as we combat the spread of COVID-19. Some have closed completely for the time being, while others have shifted all operations to takeout and delivery to keep business moving and guests fed; but even the most loyal guests can only eat so much takeout.

So how can restaurants drive revenue without dining rooms, alcohol sales, and stellar hospitality? The answer for many has been simple: promote gift cards.

When all is said and done, gift cards essentially boil down to interest-free loans from the consumer, making them the perfect way for altruistic  guests to support their favorite brands, all while making a commitment to come back for a visit when dining rooms reopen.

[…]

Turn customer engagement into meaningful guest experiences.
Get A Demo