Tech comes to the aid of ailing hospitality businesses

Cafés and restaurants around the country are having to pivot to stay alive, many that only previously catered for customers walking through their door having to embrace take-away and home delivery for the first time. Help is at hand, however, with a variety of tech businesses offering solutions to streamline the process and keep costs as low as possible.

Online ordering platform, Order Up!, is providing free set-up and heavily reduced fees to get the many businesses not previously requiring an online order service started. And mobility start-up, Bolt Bikes, is offering a commission-free opportunity for businesses to provide their existing team with jobs as home delivery riders. They have created a jobs noticeboard to connect its network of over 1000 delivery riders looking for more work with local businesses.

A helping hand

Marije, General Manager of Bondi cafe, Orchard St, has been grateful for the support of both offerings during such an uncertain time.

“Order Up! and Bolt came at a time when we needed a quick and affordable solution to service our local community, plus, most importantly, look after our team with jobs,” Marije said. “They’ve been a great support in a situation when we really don’t know what’s around the corner.”

Mina Nada, Co-Founder and CEO of Bolt Bikes said, “We created our Jobs Board to connect our community and instigate immediate job opportunities, taking the pressure off both business and rider. It was a common question being asked of us and urgent for our team to implement. It’s important for our community to support one another as best as we can during this tough time.”

John Saadie, CEO and Founder of Order Up!, is urging small businesses to get a digital presence asap, while ensuring they choose a provider who guarantees a stable, secure system.

“During this time of self-isolation, businesses need to look at connecting with their customers quickly and efficiently through new online practices. This accessibility will allow customers to order from the safety of their own homes and businesses to operate as best as possible during this time,” Saadie said.

Strength in numbers

The #SaveHospitality initiative is a

collaboration between hospitality service providers SilverChef and inKind that facilitates the public continuing to support their favourite restaurants and cafes, without having to leave their homes.

Customers buy credit for a nominated establishment, pumping urgently needed cash into local businesses, and then order delivery when needed from that credit balance. InKind is waving its commission fees and SilverChef is providing financial and practical support so that participating establishments receive all the funds (less credit card fees).

And specialist messaging provider MessageMedia is also supporting cafes and restaurants as they switch to a takeaway and “text-in orders” model. The the package includes free messaging credits, a dedicated phone number for customers and support in redirecting dine-in services to new takeaway and home delivery options – all via text message.

“As this crisis worsens and businesses across the globe face temporary closure, we want to do our part to help our customers and others in the hospitality industry who are doing it so tough right now,” CEO of MessageMedia, Paul Perrett, said.

Managing transition

“So many restaurants and cafés are scrambling to shift from a dine-in to a take-away business model and we know that the quicker that happens the more people’s jobs and livelihoods can be saved. That’s why MessageMedia is offering this free package for those impacted, so they can quickly provide a convenient method for customers to order pick-up or delivery without having to pay a third party.

“It can be done without requiring someone to man a phone line, which we know is crucial at a time when many are so busy re-rostering staff, automating old processes and streamlining new sources of revenue,” Perett added.

 “We’re seeing tremendous resilience and ingenuity across many of the small businesses that have been hit so hard during this crisis, and it’s never been more important for the business community to work collaboratively and support each other to get through this.”

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