In the wake of the Covid-19 crisis, a number of initiatives have sprung up, designed to help all sorts of local F&B set-ups survive a situation so bad, some analysts predict it might be worse than the Great Depression.
Supporting these initiatives might just mean keeping your favourite local restaurants in business, as nearly all local eateries have seen an over 80% revenue drop. Worse still, a poll conducted by the Malaysian F&B Operators Alliance, which has over 500 F&B members indicates that without aid, over 50% of restaurants polled will be insolvent in one to three months. So help your favourite local eateries out in any way you can!
Kick-started a few days after the movement control order (MCO)’s extension was declared, the #JomTapau movement was launched by The Other Kitchen, an F&B focused digital marketing agency and DiineOut, a local online marketplace for unique dining and F&B experiences.
The movement aims to help small F&B businesses create pick-up or delivery options, with zero set-up fees.
To participate in the movement, everyday folk should encourage their favourite small local F&B businesses to get on a new integrated online ordering system called app’etite, made available on the DiineOut homepage (www.diineout.com).
In 24 hours, app’etite will create a simple webpage to list menu items, images, pickup and delivery options to remove the hassle of manually tracking orders and payment from individual customers on individual chat messages.
“Since the MCO began, an explosion of small F&B businesses have flooded social media about remaining open for tapau but are asking orders to be done via WhatsApp. It’s chaotic and time-consuming to keep track of multiple individual messages and payment statuses. If they are on app’etite, they can focus on their livelihood’s core – food preparation, ” said Lionel Lau, founder of DiineOut.
Once orders come in, there is a flat rate of RM2 per order and a 2% transaction fee, which Lau is temporarily waiving in order to better help restaurants out. This will make a significant difference to most eateries as current food delivery providers charge up to 35% commission.
So far, restaurants like Boon Signature Roasted Pork, Ji Le Dim Sum, Xinn Halal Food and Frediani’s Market & Deli in Bangsar have signed up on the site.
“We invite all Malaysians, if you know of any small food business that is struggling and need help to reach a wider audience in our country that exists on the Internet by joining the world of online ordering, please get them to contact us, ” said Lau.
Gift cards from Umai
Restaurants operate on notoriously fragile margins and something like the Covid-19 crisis means many may go out of business altogether. One way you can support local businesses is by buying gift cards and vouchers from restaurants, so that they have an immediate cash flow. Sadly, less than 1% of eateries in Malaysia currently offer this service.
Umai, a restaurant software company has put together possibly the most comprehensive national database of restaurants that currently offer gift cards and vouchers, with a line-up that includes 63 eateries like The Red Beanbag, Beard Brothers, Lemon Garden, Marble 8, La Bodega, Roost, Dewakan and many others.
“There are a lot of restaurants that are deciding whether they stay in business or not. Our generosity, collectively as consumers, now literally affects the ability of your favourite restaurant to stay open, ” says Umai co-founder Jonas Chelbat.
Umai is currently offering the software for free and aims to help another 200 restaurants get on the list. Interested restaurants can also add their gift cards to the directory.
Check out https://www.umai.io/en/malaysia to purchase gift cards and help local restaurants weather this storm.
Did you find this article insightful?
73% readers found this article insightful