Business Insights

Turn Your Restaurant Into the Corner Store

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COVID-19 has turned our world upside down, and the restaurant industry has stepped forward as a committed helper, making sure their services stay available for consumers who have struggled to obtain supplies from traditional grocers emptied by panicked shoppers.

A few pioneering restaurants have taken their to-go, curbside and pre-prepped meal service a step farther and are now selling raw ingredients for customers to stock up for the home. Essentially, these restaurants have become the new corner store, and the concept has merit.

Restaurants not only have an easier time controlling touch points between a product and the end-user than a traditional store, they have a completely different and uninterrupted supply chain for food items. With overall demand for dining out diminished, restaurants can shift their existing resources to help enable the most vulnerable of the population to shelter in place as needed.

Suggested Ways to do this includes:

  • Pre-Packed Boxes

    Similar to a growers’ co-op, offer a pre-packed box of staple items for customers to pay a flat fee and pick-up. This can include non-perishables, produce and coveted fresh items.

  • Flash Produce Sales

    Have too many bags of potatoes? What about lettuce, onions, celery, carrots? You can eliminate food waste with flash sales of whatever produce needs to move.

  • Custom Orders

    If you already have online ordering and apps in place, consider placing some of your raw ingredients available for individual order (e.g., milk, eggs, produce, etc) giving consumers the option to add these items to their carryout and delivery orders.

You can just as easily deliver the supplies curbside as a hot meal. But no matter which way you choose to offer this up to consumers, be sure to communicate it.

  • Social Media

    It’s easier than ever for restaurants to spread the word about special offerings. Be sure to use hashtags to help your post join the conversation around COVID-19 and resources available. The top trending hashtag as of 3/23/20 is simply #COVID, but consider also including these: #COVID19usa #DoingMyPart #Helpers

  • Online

    Your website and/or restaurant app is likely getting a lot of traffic with consumers checking the status of your restaurant and to-go/take-out orders. Add a pop-up and banner about your COVID-19 efforts, including push-notifications if possible.

  • Signs & Flyers

    Add a sign about corner store offerings next to a window menu and create fliers to send with every to-go order.

  • Phone

    Whether it’s updating your message when people call or asking those taking to-go orders to communicate the new offering, be sure to verbally pass the information on to every consumer.

The corner store concept helps restauranteurs and consumers alike, getting available supplies to those who need it and avoiding food waste.

For more ideas on how to execute the concept at your establishment, contact your Shamrock Foods Sales Representative.

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