Bistro business booms as customers click and collect
Business is booming for a Wolverhampton bistro after it launched an online click and collect service to beat the lockdown which is crippling many restaurants across the country.
Seats Bistro in Tettenhall is thriving after launching its Ourlocal.uk e-commerce site for customers to order gourmet burgers and Sunday roast dinners.
Ourlocal.uk – a company that designs and delivers e-commerce websites for small businesses – has launched a Save Our Shops campaign, helping small firms to get online quickly and at low cost.
Tom Robinson, owner of Seats restaurant, said offering click and collect via its new Ourlocal.uk site had helped takeaway sales rise to more than half a normal week of being open full time.
Seats – a 30-seat restaurant – is part of Robinson’s Butchers which was first established in Wolverhampton in 1905.
Robinson, a fourth generation butcher, has been a chef at hotels in Wales and Australia, and at ski chalets in the Alps.
He has also run a street food business from a converted horsebox. The company employs a team of around 20 across the butchers and bistro.
He said: “During the first lockdown we closed down and completely refurbished the restaurant. When the second lockdown started we decided we wanted to offer a takeaway service showcasing our great restaurant quality meals.
“We are focusing on gourmet burgers and roast dinners purely as takeaways. We started taking orders with a pen and paper ordering system, which got very confusing. We looked for an online ordering system but some are very expensive and have high commission rates and other catches.
“We tried one system and it had fault after fault and, by the end of the week, I was in tears because it just wasn’t working and was actually adding to the workload.
“Then I was told about Ourlocal.uk. I wrote down all the problems I had had and then Russ James contacted me and set everything up. They came out to meet us and set up our system and printer, which allows us to print out all the orders. The whole thing took just two days. The speed and efficiency is amazing.”
He added: “It is seamless and the support we have been given is much more personal than the other systems. First impressions are that it is great.”
Darren Nelson, who recently sold highway maintenance business Carnell Support Services, joined with businessmen Russ James and Andi Elliott to launch Ourlocal.uk and has invested heavily in it to try to help small, independent businesses across the UK.
He is also covering all the subscription costs for the duration of the lockdown.
He said: “Hearing success stories like Robinson’s and Seats is the reason why I wanted to set up Ourlocal.uk. It’s more important than ever to support local businesses because many of them are struggling. Offering them a low-cost, e-commerce website – which I’ll pay for while lockdown continues – gives them a risk-free chance to try and grow their business.”