There is no doubt that Covid-19 rapidly invaded the globe with no prior warning. This ‘plague’ has worked its way around the world closing businesses, affecting profit margins and cash-flow, en masse unemployment, home working, empty streets; and front line professionals and hospitals working under intense pressure to keep us all safe. Many companies have seen a significant increase in their market share by quickly adapting to the needs of the new world, and become players in the community.
It’s been so important during these dark and isolated times that people have realized the need for new future innovation. Creative ideas, funny videos and memes, Zoom conferencing-fun with families, business conferences, celebrity ‘pop concerts’, collectives of people creating food banks for the poor and other ‘pay it forward’ ideas have been flooding social media channels and the news. It is from these changes that we can remain positive. From the darkness, there is light.
Restaurants and fine dining establishments have been required to close their doors to restrict movement and gatherings of people. In essence, these companies have adapted their business models quickly and have managed to create branded packaging and deliver fine food directly to consumers dining tables such as “La Petite Maison” known as LPM in Dubai, and others as well. Restaurant delivery services were inconceivable before the pandemic for some. The restauranteurs quick decision making has allowed healthy, and family food deliveries at affordable prices. BrandPortunity is busy supporting some restauranteurs and chefs to create special menus for delivery services with healthy and balanced ingredients for innovative receipes that still taste fresh upon delivery: the team are meeting market demands and reacting quickly to customer requests. Confinement and binge watching Netflix has motivated many people to ordering online for the ultimate TV experience.
Here in the United Arab Emirates, governmental support has been vital to enable courier deliveries, reduction or eradication of delivery charges which in turn encourages families to order more regularly. Social media plays an integral part in this period of change and allows for open communication about pricing policies. Delivery services have vastly improved with attention being paid to new hygiene rules, procedures, presentation and packaging. Social media platforms are heavily influencing delivery charges and there has been outrage amongst patrons about fees charged by some of the major delivery platforms. Talabat, one of the most pioneering in the UAE has waived all of its registration fees to encourage restauranteurs to onboard with them.
Pastry and bakery concepts have also gone through a considered evolution; America’s Panera Bread and Europe’s PAUL Bakeries have increased their grocery offerings to include dairy products and dried fruits thus enabling a one-stop outlet for home delivery. Subway is a key fast-food player that is taking the lead in this change.
“Stay Home, Stay Safe!” echoes around the world. The population wants to encourage the safety of others and see an end to the pandemic. People are excited about learning new skills. Food is a staple requirement that we all need and is a fun way of bringing a household together. Joe Barza, our favourite Middle Eastern celebrity chef from Lebanon, is convinced that cooking provides relief during times of confinement. Cooking is all around us and is an art; we can cook alone or together with friends and loved ones. “Food brings joy, an escape, patience and boosts health,” says Joe ”cooking is a great way to de-stress”. You’ll discover endless live classes and how-to videos from your favourite chefs across the region.
Online cooking is becoming a new trend; chefs are being approached by brands to use their ingredients to create new recipes or products to enhance cooking methods. Hadi Al Awar, former regional executive chef for Eataly in the Middle East: “People are now more conscious and curious about food ingredients and become more attached to food quality”. He added “This is important for the restaurant sector, and to ensure that people have awareness about various cooking methods. Cooking is a creative pleasure; everyone needs to master at least one recipe”.
Use this forced downtime to consider ideas and what the future will bring. BrandPortunity is available to brainstorm, harness ideas, guide inspiration and create a road map to success.
Whatever our new ‘normal’ will be, BrandPortunity is sure that invaluable lessons will be learned and there will be many positives that will drive us all to think differently. The industry has already shown it has the power to change, whilst considering the concerns of their customer at invincible speed. We are in this together.
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