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How to keep your food and drink business open during level 4 lockdown

The re-introduction of Level 4 lockdown in South Africa has placed heavy restrictions on the hospitality sector, specifically food and beverage businesses. Under the new adjusted Level 4 regulations, premises such as restaurants, taverns, bars, and nightclubs may no longer stay open to the public. Fortunately, however, the regulations allow establishments such as these to sell food and drink to the public for off-site consumption. This means any food and drink providers that hope to survive the lockdown will need to brush up their eCommerce skills and start selling online.


The rise of online deliveries

Even before the COVID-19 pandemic hit, online restaurant delivery services were growing in popularity. Gone are the days of lukewarm pizza and greasy Chinese cartons - these days, progressive restauranteurs, farmers and bakers have realised the benefits of moving online. Popular local apps UCOOK and Granadilla Eats have already achieved this with great success, revealing just how important it is to get online and keep your business afloat through strict lockdown regulations.

Get online now with these 4 easy steps: 


1. Consider your storage and preparation strategy

If you run a restaurant or foodservice, you already know the importance of health and safety when it comes to food preparation and storage. For takeaways and home deliveries, these considerations are more important than ever. 

You'll need to figure out how you can deliver the dishes or items on your menu in hygienic, non-spill containers while also maintaining their appetizing appearance. You may need to restructure your menu, removing some dishes that can't translate to home delivery and altering the ingredients in others.


2. Plan for order fulfillment and delivery

With the dining area closed, your staff will be free to concentrate on receiving online orders and preparing the food for delivery. Figure out how and where this will take place and what roles your various staff members will fulfill.

Delivery vehicles - whether bicycles, scooters or cars - may need special carriers or compartments fitted to keep food warm and drinks cold. To make life easier, you can partner with a third-party delivery service such as Uber Eats that collects from your premises and fulfills the order on your behalf.


3. Communicate your online presence to customers

Knowing that restaurants and food markets are closed, most people will revert back to their old delivery options. It's critical that you launch an ambitious marketing campaign as soon as possible to let them know you're still open and available for delivery. Social media is a great tool that can be used to communicate your new delivery status to customers, featuring mouthwatering images of your products.

You'll also need to update your website to reflect your new delivery and collection services. Be sure to advertise this information prominently on the front page, with clearly visible opening times, delivery options, and payment methods.


4. Ensure you have a good payment gateway

Cash on delivery comes with a whole range of concerns from driver safety to transmission of germs, so it's imperative that customers can make online payments at the time of purchase with minimal hassle. Fortunately, the growth of ecommerce over the past decade has helped to drive innovation in this area, making online payments easier than ever

Look out for these important features from your payment gateway:

      1. A seamless and secure payment experience for your customers so they can order with confidence. A payment gateway that integrates easily with popular platforms such as Wix, Shopify, WooCommerce and others.
      2. Customer service that is available when you need them whether it’s online or over the phone.
      3. Interested in subscription orders? Then make sure that recurring payments is an option to improve regular cash flow for your business. Your website or mobile app should include a simple way for customers to provide their details and complete the payment at the click of a few buttons. A fast and reliable payment gateway can spell the difference between success and failure when running any business online.


A simple payment solution

With Peach Payments, you can set up an online payment gateway designed to fit your specific business size, whether you’re a small takeaway or a large chain of restaurants. Our flexible payment solutions include world-class support, enterprise-grade security, and a seamless customer experience.

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