Like many restaurants, Waterlooville-based Koop+Kraft offered a takeaway service during the crisis. Now, managing director George Purnell is looking at how that revenue stream works after lockdown.
Koop+Kraft has always offered takeaway, but until lockdown it was a minimal part of the business. George moved quickly when the government announced restaurant closures.
“It was a disaster for about an hour, then we saw it as an opportunity,” he said. “We took the bull by the horns and committed to doing a lot more takeaway. We reinvented the whole takeaway menu and brought forward takeaway roasts so people could order for Mother’s Day.”
Learning to roll with the punches
For the first month, George described the team as “headless chickens”. It didn’t matter what they sold or how things worked, as long as the restaurant stayed operational. George concentrated on adapting to a changing environment and unpredictable supply chain.
Then, takeaway sales skyrocketed. Fast food rivals like Burger King and KFC were closed, and Koop+Kraft was one of the only restaurants available in the community.
“We ended up doing really well out of it and had so much love and support for the business because we’d carried on. It all stems from us wanting to be in control, wanting to be as prepared as possible and rolling with the punches a little bit,” George explained.
Building a lockdown project into something sustainable
Realising that coronavirus would have a lasting impact was a pivotal moment for the business. George started seeing the takeaway service as a key revenue stream, rather than a short-term solution to keep the business open.
“It got to the point where we realised we had to adapt and understand that this is the new normal. This isn’t just a freak occurrence – this is actually something that’s going to be normal for a while,” he said.
Koop+Kraft’s restaurant reopened in July, but George has tried to retain as much takeaway business as they can and keep the standard high. He’s keen to build on the momentum they created with the takeaways, which means investing time in making sure the quality stands up.
“Takeaway plays a much bigger role in our revenue stream now. As a result, we give it a lot more respect than we did before. We put a lot more resources and time into it. It’s something that we needed to keep us going as we navigated coronavirus and I think it’s going to be a big part of what we do in future.”
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