Atlanta Restaurant Initiates Neighborhood Takeout, Steadies Sales in Wake of COVID-19

A business's open sign

It’s important that we all continue to support America’s small businesses during the hard times brought upon us by the coronavirus outbreak. From time to time, we’ll share stories that inspire us as we continue to build a company focused on helping small businesses compete and win.

Celero Commerce and its legacy companies like UMS Banking and Tandem Innovative Payment Solutions are proud to serve thousands of restaurants across the country with payment acceptance solutions and integrated services like payroll, scheduling, loyalty programs, and much more.  In just a matter of days, restaurants have faced an apocalypse of sorts, sparked by the immediate spread of COVID-19.

In response to the outbreak and exponential growth of cases on a near-daily basis, many governments at state, county, and municipal levels have made the hard call to close places where the public gathers, with restaurants, bars, and breweries among the hardest-hit small businesses around the country. Many have been asked to close their dining rooms for a couple of weeks, while other orders have given indefinite time frames. Dine-in service is the life-blood for many American restaurants, forcing a survival mode that, as history tells us, spurs innovation.

One of our card processing clients in the Atlanta area recently shared such a success story with us at Tandem.  A café with a long history in the community with multiple locations found itself having to comply with municipal orders to move to takeout and delivery-only sales, effectively ending dine-in service for the foreseeable future.

The owner of the business obviously felt the stress of the situation quickly, as have many restaurant owners around the country. In recent touch with a Celero employee, who also happened to be a neighbor the owner took his suggestion of utilizing their neighborhood email address list to reach lots of prospective customers quickly and inexpensively.  As suggested, the owner asked his neighbors if they’d like lunch delivered and threw in his own incentive as well:  a 10 percent discount for anyone from the neighborhood who wanted lunch from his café that day.

The owner then received nearly two dozen orders in reply to his email overture, personally delivering them from the base of his driveway for safe pickup while maintaining social distancing guidelines. The owner reported that this gesture—and of course the huge response from the neighborhood—helped him achieve his normal daily sales numbers. He’s now so thrilled with the idea and the response that he’s reaching out to friends in many local neighborhoods to replicate the neighborhood takeout strategy.