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Buffalo Grill: "We have become essential on home delivery"


Jocelyn Olive, general manager of Buffalo Grill, explains how his group has adapted to containment while restaurants ignore

Like McDonald's, Burger King or KFC, who organized drives or home delivery services in April, the Buffalo Grill chain, leader in "table service", also set out to win back its customers by offering new services in part of its 360 establishments. Update with its managing director, Jocelyn Olive.

What services have you launched recently?

JOCELYN OLIVE. As a preamble, I would like to say that the government's decision, which authorizes all businesses except restaurants to reopen from May 11, seems to me to be a surprising message to say the least: we would therefore be "dangerous", it is regrettable … Until we know, at the end of May, our reopening date, we have launched three services since April, in pilot establishments and currently in 200 of our restaurants. First a home delivery service, in partnership with Uber Eats. We have selected a reduced range of products that travel well - burgers, but also our “ribs” and certain pieces of beef (rib steaks, ribs) - which we deliver in special packaging.

And the other two?

We also offer a “click and collect” formula with a simple route on a smartphone, as well as take-away sales. In both cases, we agree that the order will be ready in thirty minutes.

Do these new activities compensate for the closure of the table service?

Even if our results exceed our expectations - our deliveries are 5 to 10 times greater than usual - even by combining these three new areas of development, this does not compensate. In fact, the idea is not to earn money, but to lose less: a stationary restaurant has a significant cost because of the charges that continue to run. All the more in a park of 360 establishments. This also allows us to put 1,200 employees - who were in real social distress - back to work, to reconnect with customers, but also to preempt the market, because these new activities are shaping the landscape of tomorrow.

Which are the most promising?

Home delivery, in particular, will continue to ramp up. We make an average of 50 to 100 per day per restaurant, and have become so essential that some Ubert Eats delivery people can afford to work only with us.

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Do you apply specific hygiene rules?

No, but we worked very early on with William Dab, former Director General of Health (DGS), who advised us. Our main concern has been “reinsurance”, both for the consumer and for our employees. Customers fluctuate strongly between the desire to have fun, and the fear of the virus, reassuring them is therefore crucial. Material, customer journey, rules of social distancing, we tested everything and then wrote in good practice guides. Delivery is of course contactless and the customer journey has been reviewed.

And in the kitchen?

The mask and the visors are obligatory, the cleaning of hands and surfaces ultra-frequent. The rule is to keep 1.5 m between two people. The objective is to anchor new practices for employees, who notably have e-learning tools (Editor's note: Internet training) . Ultimately, our strength will also reside in the size of our restaurants: with spaces comprising 200 seats on more than 400 m2, we will have much less trouble than others in enforcing the rules of social distancing.

Source: leparis

All business articles on 2020-05-13

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