June 08 2020

'IN THE LOOP' - Do-it-Yourself - How this Australian Restaurant owner has rethought the way he operates because of COVID-19

As we see an Industry-wide focus on delivery services from restaurants and pubs as closures remain enforced, there are anomalies to the trend.

In Australia, one restaurant owner has decided to approach the disruptions with a unique, ‘do-it-yourself’ mentality to continue providing services.

Johnny de Francesco is the founder of the Australian pizza chain ‘400 Gradi’, and has witnessed 13 of his restaurants close over the past few months due to the Coronavirus outbreak.

This has not been uncommon - Closures have proved extremely testing for businesses everywhere, but de Francesco’s approach to combating lost profitability was responsive and practical.

He kept 1 of his restaurants open; offering both the usual delivery and take-away services we have seen all over the place.

In response to the increase in home cooking, he decided to offer raw ingredients as part of the new menu, “encouraging customers to come and pick up orders themselves and offering cook-at-home items.” (www.smh.com.au)

This tackles the public’s general switch away from deliveries and towards home cooking, offering quality ingredients with no extra hassle for customers. Furthermore, this model means there are still employees active and able to earn a living.

Although his restaurant is hosted by both UBER eats and Deliveroo, he has stated that he wants to reduce his reliance on the platforms, offering discounts as incentives to customers who pick up from his restaurants directly. He argued that the high percentage taken by these platforms for their third-party services massively cut a restaurant’s profits, and so he sought out an effective alternative.

This forward-thinking approach has seen de Francesco continuing business as usual as possible, while reducing the detrimental impacts of global closures.

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