Justin and Cynthia Loeb, owners of Elote Mexican Kitchen and Oliva Italian Eatery in Fort Worth, Texas, know a thing or two about getting through tough times.
Justin graduated college and headed into the telecommunications field around the turn of the millennium, just as the telecoms crash hit the stock market. He moved to New York City and opened a
wine shop instead, where he met his wife, a restaurant professional.
The pair moved to Fort Worth to be closer to Cynthia’s family and bought a local, struggling full-service restaurant – right as the financial crisis devastated Texas in 2008.
Despite the economic downturn, the Loebs built themselves a stellar reputation at Oliva Italian Eatery, and a few years later expanded their local footprint with Elote Mexican Kitchen, a fast-casual restaurant. The secret, according to Justin Loeb, is to anticipate what guests want and provide it before they demand it.
“You can’t wait for people to come to you, you have to go to them. Whether it’s social media or the email blasts, whatever you can do, it’s being proactive instead of reactive,” Loeb explained.
The Loebs themselves got into online ordering at Elote when a large fast food chain opened nearby. The couple anticipated competition for younger guests’ business, and quickly saw the need for technology solutions, which led them to launch online ordering and email marketing with Paytronix Online Ordering.
With social distancing advisories in place, tasks as simple as going to the grocery store have become challenging. This has pushed many consumers toward grocery delivery services to minimize contact with others, but now those are inundated and many are on long waiting lists.
The team at the 44-store Little Greek Fresh Grill chain stepped up with a solution when they noticed that many of their guests were struggling to find basic goods. […]
It was Taco Tuesday when Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine announced that the state would temporarily allow restaurants to sell alcohol to-go. Almost immediately, the phones at Local Cantina’s seven open Columbus-area locations started ringing with callers asking one thing: how quickly could they get a margarita?
Leanna McKenney Heath, one of the group’s operations managers, asked for just a few hours, and soon had a new section for alcohol available on the Paytronix online ordering platform.
“Now I have a whole section on there dedicated to margaritas,” McKenney Heath said. “The ID verification that the customer gets, letting them know at least three times they’re going to have to show their ID to pick it up, is really great.”
This is just one of the ways the restaurants have adapted to operate under the new normal that the novel coronavirus has ushered in. […]
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. […]
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