We often get asked if we only set up Plateaway for a short-lived revenue stream during lockdown and to be totally honest, we were quite uncertain about where this journey would take us when we first set up our business. As we all know, Coronavirus has disrupted all future plans and in a world of uncertainty, we couldn’t predict how long restaurants would keep making kits and if they would continue once their restaurants finally opened and restrictions were lifted.
However nine months in, we are confident, as well as our restaurant partners, that there is a gap in the market for this and that meal kits will continue to live on. Firstly, restaurants have learnt the hard way that they cannot depend solely on customers in their restaurant as well as take away options as their only source of income.
For restaurant owners, it is a no-brainer by having restaurant meal kits. They are guaranteeing an additional revenue stream as well as boosting their customer base by being able to reach people Nationwide, previously inaccessible to them. By being Nationwide, they are also acquiring so much information for eating habits and trends up and down the country, allowing them to understand where they could potentially be missing out on a huge customer base. This information is extremely valuable should they wish to open up a restaurant in that specific area.
From a customer perspective, meal kits have given people the option to make their favourite restaurant meals in the comfort of their home, no matter how far away they may live from the restaurant. Further to that, a lot of popular restaurants are located centrally and with businesses permanently changing their policies, with some saying that going into the office is voluntary, employees are working from home and do not want to spend the money commuting to eat out. Without a doubt, Coronavirus has changed behavioural habits meaning some people still may feel uncomfortable going to restaurants for a long period of time, as well as enjoying cooking and preparing food themselves instead.
Additionally a huge problem for restaurants is capacity. Small restaurants are unable to fit a lot of customers and usually result in takeaway options as their main source of revenue. One worry we had early on, was what would happen when restaurants reopened and they did not have the space to fulfil meal kit orders. This is why we have an option for our partners to sit back and focus on their restaurant whilst we manage everything from packaging to delivery and remove the logistics and operation side to meal kits. With no extra labour for the restaurants, they are STILL able to have this additional income with minimal effort!
Aside from the restaurants having their own meal kits, many of our kits come from family-owned businesses that set up at the beginning of the first lockdown. This is now their sole income and our platform allows them to grow and increase their brand awareness. Like many of our customers, we fully support small businesses and therefore their kits have allowed them to develop a loyal customer base, which is going to only continue to grow.