When the COVID-19 pandemic forced Prime Hospitality Group of Indianapolis to close its dining rooms, the leadership team needed to maintain a source of revenue to help keep its 750 employees safe, fed, and part of the team.
That’s a key reason why the company signed with Paytronix to offer ordering and delivery through the rapid-response product that launched last week. In just a few days, Prime was able to get delivery up and running at its flagship location in Northside Indianapolis and keep serving guests. It also plans to use the DoorDash connection for delivery, in addition to existing deals with Uber Eats and Postmates. These efforts will enable this location to continue doing the highest volume in Prime Hospitality Group’s portfolio.
Takeout and delivery had previously been a secondary focus, intended to fulfill guests’ preference for convenience. Until recently, Prime had always concentrated almost exclusively on the on-premises experience.
“I believe that online ordering and delivery is a necessity in our current circumstances,” said Prime Hospitality Group President Kristy Rans. “We still think that our product is one that can be enjoyed at home even outside the traditional service and hospitality that we provide within the four walls of our restaurants.”
Right now, Prime’s management teams are staffing their restaurants to keep the kitchens running and the employees fed. Takeout dinners for a family of four are being supplied to employees free of charge every Monday through Friday at each of the company’s seven franchised Ruth’s Chris locations in Indiana, Missouri, and Arkansas.
In addition to operating the takeout and delivery side of things, Prime started a fund for its hourly team members, and many guests are donating. The company is also running a gift card promotion that provides a $10 discount for every $100 gift card purchased, with $20 of each gift card sale going to the fund for hourly employees. The tips that management receives through takeout and delivery are going to the fund as well.
All of this is why it was so important to have delivery up and running quickly. Rans notes that Prime had been testing Uber Eats in several locations and had been speaking with Postmates, but there hadn’t been a full rollout. “We wanted to continue to serve our guests at this time, and having an order-and-delivery system allows us to do that,” Rans said. “Keeping operations going through this time will also position Prime to return to normal operations as quickly as possible when we are able.”