Nick Kokonas, part of the team behind Chicago restaurant powerhouse Alinea, itself offering deliveries in Chicago, is also the man behind the restaurant reservation platform, Tock.
Kokonas had recently announced a whole raft of upgrades to his restaurant reservation platform Tock Time, however, with the onset of the coronavirus epidemic the team have created a solution to help restaurants find maintain business during this difficult time.
Survival for the restaurant industry will depend on restaurant’s ability to adapt to changing circumstances and to develop creative solution on the fly.
“We built it (the Tock delivery platform) in 6 days,” says Kokonas.
“We pivoted our team to develop a quick and creative solution for restaurants that don't typically offer take-out or delivery. You can now sell meal kits, to-go packs, or whatever experiences you can dream up, directly on Tock.”
The solution is allowing restaurants to continue to operate through the crisis.
“We now have hundreds of restaurants creating simple, streamlined offerings for pick-up and delivery,” says Kokonas.
The Tock platform differs from other delivery platforms by allowing restaurants to utilise their own staff for delivery and pickup to save on costs. They can keep operations streamlined with prepaid meals and simple à la carte menus and sell add-ons like wine, sides, or merchandise. The platform allows for two-way text messaging for contactless deliveries.
Restauranteurs will be acutely aware for the need to cut costs in a period of reduced operating.
“Conserve resources," says Kokonas, “it's vitally important that every business channel payroll to those most in need”.
Restaurants might see the gift card or voucher model as a solution to prop up revenue during the coronavirus crisis, however, it might not be the best fix according to Kokonas.
“In my opinion, restaurants should not rely on Gift Cards to float... it's tempting and easy and people understand it, but you are just delaying your economic pain down the road.”