Self isolation drives spike in venues offering pick-up & delivery as community rallies to support local cafes and restaurants hit hard by COVID-19

There has been a 15% surge in the number of cafes and restaurants offering pick-up and delivery options* as Aussie business owners and their local communities do everything they can to save venues and jobs hit hard by the impacts of Coronavirus social distancing measures.

Skip Chief Executive Officer, Bill Bizos: “The community is rallying around their favourite cafes and restaurants who are fighting back against the Coronavirus by utilising existing waiters and baristas as delivery drivers in a bid to save jobs and keep their doors open following the recent restrictions on in-house service.”

As trips to crowded supermarkets with empty shelves become less and less appealing, many consumers are increasingly turning to take-away as a safe alternative to put food on the table as family members and housemates do all they can to follow health guidelines and stay indoors.

“Aussies in isolation are wanting to continue supporting their favourite local venues and have woken up to the fact that foreign-owned delivery services are charging businesses upwards of 35% from every order. Where venues are switching to offering takeaway for the first time that type of fee directly cuts into their margin and will cost jobs,” said Mr Bizos.

“If you want to continue supporting your favourite local venue then you should either picking up the food yourself or use a delivery service where the business and its workers can directly deliver the food to you.”

How is Skip helping businesses cope in this hard time?

Skip has responded to requests from venues and switched its business model to allow businesses to deliver food to customers themselves. By doing this they can maintain a profit but also potentially offer new opportunities to existing staff to perform a crucial role within the business.

Scott Friswell from Little Sister Cafe in Victoria’s Keilor East has seen his sales hit hard by the Coronavirus but is keeping his store open and offering take-away alternatives. The cafe is now also using the Skip app to offer delivery of food and coffee to those who are self-isolating in the local area.

“Delivery is a really good option for us and it is one of many changes we are looking at to try and stay afloat while we go through these challenging times. We’ve had huge support from our customers who are continuing to drop by and ask us how we are doing.”

“It has really brought us closer together as a community and given us some confidence that we can all get through this together,” said Mr Friswell.

Dan Harrison from Bella Vista in Manly, New South Wales has diverted resources towards retail sales and takeaway and they have been fortunate that this has helped them make up for the loss of in-house service sales so far.

“We are lucky that we are based in a residential area and the local community are really supporting us through this. It’s taken a while for people to get used to social distancing and there were some awkward moments initially but now people are getting the hang of it and grabbing their coffee and moving on.”

“The increase in retail sales mixed with an increase in takeaway orders means we are doing ok so far. If the demand is there we are also keen to look at delivery as a way of continuing to give our casual employees hours,” said Mr Harrison.

Emily Peters from Nowhere Espresso in Toowong, Queensland said she was fortunate to have already invested in takeaway infrastructure and signed up to Skip and this has meant that they are so far adjusting well to the restrictions.

“Our takeaway orders on Skip have actually tripled. If we go into a full lockdown then we will also look at delivery using the app as other services take a much larger percentage of the revenue.”

“The biggest thing we’ve seen is an outpouring of support from the community. Customers keep coming in and asking us how we are going. We’ve also seen more demand from people who are now working from home offices nearby. It has been such as positive experience given what is going on and we feel blessed during what is a terrible time for the hospitality industry,” said Ms Peters.

“In recent weeks we’ve seen an overwhelming response from the community who think of their local cafe owners and staff as friends. We are even seeing a rise in examples of customers making donations with their orders and leaving touching messages of support,” said Mr Bizos. 

Skip can be downloaded for free with iOS or Android smartphone or tablet. It allows for frictionless (no-contact) and cashless transactions.

*Increase in number of registered Skip venues since first recorded case of COVID-19 in Australian on January 25, 2020.