Food Delivery platform Smood see’s 80% increase and urges restaurants to go online

Food Delivery platform Smood see’s 80% increase and urges restaurants to go online

By
Arman Anatürk
March 30, 2020

Interview with Bastian Heer, Marketing Lead at Smood

Though not yet as popular in the US or UK, online food delivery has been picking up speed in Switzerland. But ever since the coronavirus outbreak has forced restaurants to close their doors, online orders have shot up as customers crave for their favorite lunch time take away or after work meal.

I spoke with Bastian Heer, Marketing Lead at Smood to learn more about how COVID-19 has been impacting their business, how they’re coping and what advice they’d have to restaurant owners at a time like this.

  • FoodHack: How has your business been affected as a result of COVID-19?

    Bastian: Since the past two weeks we’ve seen a spike in the number of orders on our platform and new restaurants joining Smood. Our grocery service, which does grocery deliveries in cooperation with Migros in the Canton of Geneva orders have also been coming in like crazy. Our teams have setup special warehouses in cooperation with Migros to meet the demand and make delivery possible now within 24h-48h. What we offer in Geneva with the restaurants and the groceries enables people to stay at home at all times – and we look forward to expanding it across all of Switzerland very soon. Moreover our amazing team is working hard around the clock to keep up with all of the demand and ensuring that new restaurants who want to join are able to do so quickly and easily.

  • Can you quantify the growth for us?

    Just looking at the traffic on our website, we’ve seen an overall 270% increase on our site in the past two weeks. For online orders, the number has jumped 80% - 90% more than usual and in the last 7 days alone, we’ve had 400 requests just in Geneva from new restaurants that want to join Smood.

  • What are a few challenges that you have faced as a result of the coronavirus?

    Overall there has been a general fear on what impact this could have on the Swiss restaurant industry. Our top priority has been to keep all of our stakeholders, from our employees to the restaurant owners up-to-date with the latest information and measures as well as how we’ll be adapting to support restaurants and our customers at this time.  

    On the operational side, organising the stocking up the delivery team in a very short time due to the increased demand was a challenge. Obviously also locating and organizing all of the necessary gloves, hand sanitizers and masks that we needed has been a challenge but we’ve managed to get this all sorted. In terms of operations, we’re already a digitalised team and our employees are familiar with working on their own laptops so adapting to a work from home environment has not been a problem.

  • What health and safety regulations have you put into place?

    Health and safety is a top priority for us at Smood and it starts with the restaurants. We familiarise all of our restaurant partners with the latest health and safety measures as recommended by the Swiss federal government. For example take Luigia, one of our restaurant partners that does italian cuisine, they’ve made it mandatory that all cooks and chefs use gloves and masks at all times when working and similar measures are in place across all of our restaurant partners.

    When it comes to the pick up of the delivery, the customer's order is is not given hand to hand between the restaurant and the driver but instead left on a designated surface where the driver can pick it up from directly.

    As for our drivers, they are all required to wear masks and gloves when delivering and have hand sanitizer in their vehicles to use each time they change their gloves. For our customers and drivers safety, we’ve also introduced contactless delivery where their order will be placed outside their door and they’ll receive a push notification when the order has arrived.

  • Have you noticed any changes with the types of orders users are making?

    In terms of type of cuisine, we haven’t seen any changes. The usual customers are still buying in the same manner that they did before and new customers are purchasing as we’d normally expect.

    What has changed is the time of ordering, we’ve seen a surge in people who are now ordering food during lunch time which I’d expect is due to the rise of employees working at home looking for a quick and easy lunch time meal. We’re also seeing that peak ordering hours and final ordering hours in the evening have shifted to an hour earlier than usual, which I’d assume is down to people already being at home after work.

  • How are people discovering Smood?

    Even prior to the coronavirus situation we had a very strong customer base here in Switzerland so for us it was a matter of reactivating our users. We’ve found that referrals have been a great way to drive new users to our platform which is really thanks to our loyal customer base. You can also find our apps in the App Store and Google Play and we’re quite active on social media too.

    We’ve recently been increasing the number of email newsletters to Smood customers during the past couple of weeks to keep them informed about the current situation. We normally don't send many emails out but we have been getting a good response over email and have been able to engage and activate customers through this channel.

  • How is Smood working to support restaurants at this time?

    Many of us at Smood come from the restauration industry and we feel the pain for restaurateurs right now. We’ve adapted our onboarding process to make it quicker and easier for new restaurants to get on and have made onboarding completely free, from setting up the account to having a photographer come by to take photos of their menu - our goal is to help new restaurants get started with online delivery in just 1 - 3 days.

    We’ve also reduced or removed the delivery fee’s on our platform. Though this is clearly not an economic decision for Smood as the delivery fees cover almost half of our income. The goal for Smood during this time goes beyond business performance. It’s to help all of our partners and incentivize the Swiss population to support their local restaurants by reducing the barriers to order and making delivery accessible to everyone. We have also partially renegotiated agreements for this period to show our solidarity and support the restaurants.

  • What advice would you have for restaurants at this time?

    First, I’d advise restaurants that aren’t already doing online delivery to start using it. Delivery is a must right now and we want to help restaurants get set up and selling as soon as possible.

    When it comes to the food choices, I’d recommend they assess their existing menu and decide which items best translate for a to-go scenario with the goal to reduce the overall menu size listed online. There’s a reason why pizza has long been a staple delivery item as it travels well and is relatively simple to make. For opening hours, we suggest they adjust this to the demand that we’re seeing from our users - definitely be open during evenings and if possible at lunch too.

    Promoting on social media is also recommended, making your customer base aware that you’re still open for deliveries by posting every couple of days and clearly communicating your opening hours or spotlighting menu items that are available for delivery will help drive orders. If you have a newsletter, engage with your customers there and send them a direct link to the app to order.

  • How will this situation affect Smood in the long term?

    It’s too early to say what long term impact this will have on Smood. One thing is for certain is that we’ll be well prepared for if anything like this were to ever happen again.

    On a positive note, this pandemic will and already has been bringing a strong sense of solidarity across the team, our restaurant partners and across the wider Swiss population as we all work to navigate these difficult times.  

  • Post COVID-19 will delivery become the new norm?

    Delivery platforms like Smood have been growing year on year in Switzerland but have yet to reach widespread acceptance, unlike what you can see in the UK or the US. Though I do expect this situation to highlight to restaurants how delivery can be valuable to them to help drive profits and I’m sure they continue using platforms like ours after this is over.

    It’s also very much in the Swiss culture to go out for lunch or after work to eat with friends, colleagues and family and I imagine once the confinement rules are lifted we’ll see people filling up restaurants and bars very soon after.  

  • Do you think we’ll be seeing ghost kitchens in Switzerland as a result of COVID-19?

    In our point of view ghost kitchens are only interesting if restaurants have a very strong brand presence. We think in Switzerland it’s not yet the right time to have delivery only locations. The Swiss population love to go out and dine and we have a very high density of restaurants in comparison to the population. For the delivery-only model to work, the restaurant would have to have a very strong existing brand where customers are already familiar with their products and quality. It would take a lot of work, branding and marketing in order to succeed in this and we feel like the physical contact is and will always be very important to swiss customers.

Written by
Arman Anatürk

Lived across North America, Europe and Asia, leading to my questionable cooking style. Jumped two feet forward into the startup world in 2013, and haven't looked back since. Always on the hunt for the next story or inside scoop to cover - email me or connect on LinkedIn.

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Interview with Bastian Heer, Marketing Lead at Smood

Though not yet as popular in the US or UK, online food delivery has been picking up speed in Switzerland. But ever since the coronavirus outbreak has forced restaurants to close their doors, online orders have shot up as customers crave for their favorite lunch time take away or after work meal.

I spoke with Bastian Heer, Marketing Lead at Smood to learn more about how COVID-19 has been impacting their business, how they’re coping and what advice they’d have to restaurant owners at a time like this.

  • FoodHack: How has your business been affected as a result of COVID-19?

    Bastian: Since the past two weeks we’ve seen a spike in the number of orders on our platform and new restaurants joining Smood. Our grocery service, which does grocery deliveries in cooperation with Migros in the Canton of Geneva orders have also been coming in like crazy. Our teams have setup special warehouses in cooperation with Migros to meet the demand and make delivery possible now within 24h-48h. What we offer in Geneva with the restaurants and the groceries enables people to stay at home at all times – and we look forward to expanding it across all of Switzerland very soon. Moreover our amazing team is working hard around the clock to keep up with all of the demand and ensuring that new restaurants who want to join are able to do so quickly and easily.

  • Can you quantify the growth for us?

    Just looking at the traffic on our website, we’ve seen an overall 270% increase on our site in the past two weeks. For online orders, the number has jumped 80% - 90% more than usual and in the last 7 days alone, we’ve had 400 requests just in Geneva from new restaurants that want to join Smood.

  • What are a few challenges that you have faced as a result of the coronavirus?

    Overall there has been a general fear on what impact this could have on the Swiss restaurant industry. Our top priority has been to keep all of our stakeholders, from our employees to the restaurant owners up-to-date with the latest information and measures as well as how we’ll be adapting to support restaurants and our customers at this time.  

    On the operational side, organising the stocking up the delivery team in a very short time due to the increased demand was a challenge. Obviously also locating and organizing all of the necessary gloves, hand sanitizers and masks that we needed has been a challenge but we’ve managed to get this all sorted. In terms of operations, we’re already a digitalised team and our employees are familiar with working on their own laptops so adapting to a work from home environment has not been a problem.

  • What health and safety regulations have you put into place?

    Health and safety is a top priority for us at Smood and it starts with the restaurants. We familiarise all of our restaurant partners with the latest health and safety measures as recommended by the Swiss federal government. For example take Luigia, one of our restaurant partners that does italian cuisine, they’ve made it mandatory that all cooks and chefs use gloves and masks at all times when working and similar measures are in place across all of our restaurant partners.

    When it comes to the pick up of the delivery, the customer's order is is not given hand to hand between the restaurant and the driver but instead left on a designated surface where the driver can pick it up from directly.

    As for our drivers, they are all required to wear masks and gloves when delivering and have hand sanitizer in their vehicles to use each time they change their gloves. For our customers and drivers safety, we’ve also introduced contactless delivery where their order will be placed outside their door and they’ll receive a push notification when the order has arrived.

  • Have you noticed any changes with the types of orders users are making?

    In terms of type of cuisine, we haven’t seen any changes. The usual customers are still buying in the same manner that they did before and new customers are purchasing as we’d normally expect.

    What has changed is the time of ordering, we’ve seen a surge in people who are now ordering food during lunch time which I’d expect is due to the rise of employees working at home looking for a quick and easy lunch time meal. We’re also seeing that peak ordering hours and final ordering hours in the evening have shifted to an hour earlier than usual, which I’d assume is down to people already being at home after work.

  • How are people discovering Smood?

    Even prior to the coronavirus situation we had a very strong customer base here in Switzerland so for us it was a matter of reactivating our users. We’ve found that referrals have been a great way to drive new users to our platform which is really thanks to our loyal customer base. You can also find our apps in the App Store and Google Play and we’re quite active on social media too.

    We’ve recently been increasing the number of email newsletters to Smood customers during the past couple of weeks to keep them informed about the current situation. We normally don't send many emails out but we have been getting a good response over email and have been able to engage and activate customers through this channel.

  • How is Smood working to support restaurants at this time?

    Many of us at Smood come from the restauration industry and we feel the pain for restaurateurs right now. We’ve adapted our onboarding process to make it quicker and easier for new restaurants to get on and have made onboarding completely free, from setting up the account to having a photographer come by to take photos of their menu - our goal is to help new restaurants get started with online delivery in just 1 - 3 days.

    We’ve also reduced or removed the delivery fee’s on our platform. Though this is clearly not an economic decision for Smood as the delivery fees cover almost half of our income. The goal for Smood during this time goes beyond business performance. It’s to help all of our partners and incentivize the Swiss population to support their local restaurants by reducing the barriers to order and making delivery accessible to everyone. We have also partially renegotiated agreements for this period to show our solidarity and support the restaurants.

  • What advice would you have for restaurants at this time?

    First, I’d advise restaurants that aren’t already doing online delivery to start using it. Delivery is a must right now and we want to help restaurants get set up and selling as soon as possible.

    When it comes to the food choices, I’d recommend they assess their existing menu and decide which items best translate for a to-go scenario with the goal to reduce the overall menu size listed online. There’s a reason why pizza has long been a staple delivery item as it travels well and is relatively simple to make. For opening hours, we suggest they adjust this to the demand that we’re seeing from our users - definitely be open during evenings and if possible at lunch too.

    Promoting on social media is also recommended, making your customer base aware that you’re still open for deliveries by posting every couple of days and clearly communicating your opening hours or spotlighting menu items that are available for delivery will help drive orders. If you have a newsletter, engage with your customers there and send them a direct link to the app to order.

  • How will this situation affect Smood in the long term?

    It’s too early to say what long term impact this will have on Smood. One thing is for certain is that we’ll be well prepared for if anything like this were to ever happen again.

    On a positive note, this pandemic will and already has been bringing a strong sense of solidarity across the team, our restaurant partners and across the wider Swiss population as we all work to navigate these difficult times.  

  • Post COVID-19 will delivery become the new norm?

    Delivery platforms like Smood have been growing year on year in Switzerland but have yet to reach widespread acceptance, unlike what you can see in the UK or the US. Though I do expect this situation to highlight to restaurants how delivery can be valuable to them to help drive profits and I’m sure they continue using platforms like ours after this is over.

    It’s also very much in the Swiss culture to go out for lunch or after work to eat with friends, colleagues and family and I imagine once the confinement rules are lifted we’ll see people filling up restaurants and bars very soon after.  

  • Do you think we’ll be seeing ghost kitchens in Switzerland as a result of COVID-19?

    In our point of view ghost kitchens are only interesting if restaurants have a very strong brand presence. We think in Switzerland it’s not yet the right time to have delivery only locations. The Swiss population love to go out and dine and we have a very high density of restaurants in comparison to the population. For the delivery-only model to work, the restaurant would have to have a very strong existing brand where customers are already familiar with their products and quality. It would take a lot of work, branding and marketing in order to succeed in this and we feel like the physical contact is and will always be very important to swiss customers.

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Interview with Bastian Heer, Marketing Lead at Smood

Though not yet as popular in the US or UK, online food delivery has been picking up speed in Switzerland. But ever since the coronavirus outbreak has forced restaurants to close their doors, online orders have shot up as customers crave for their favorite lunch time take away or after work meal.

I spoke with Bastian Heer, Marketing Lead at Smood to learn more about how COVID-19 has been impacting their business, how they’re coping and what advice they’d have to restaurant owners at a time like this.

  • FoodHack: How has your business been affected as a result of COVID-19?

    Bastian: Since the past two weeks we’ve seen a spike in the number of orders on our platform and new restaurants joining Smood. Our grocery service, which does grocery deliveries in cooperation with Migros in the Canton of Geneva orders have also been coming in like crazy. Our teams have setup special warehouses in cooperation with Migros to meet the demand and make delivery possible now within 24h-48h. What we offer in Geneva with the restaurants and the groceries enables people to stay at home at all times – and we look forward to expanding it across all of Switzerland very soon. Moreover our amazing team is working hard around the clock to keep up with all of the demand and ensuring that new restaurants who want to join are able to do so quickly and easily.

  • Can you quantify the growth for us?

    Just looking at the traffic on our website, we’ve seen an overall 270% increase on our site in the past two weeks. For online orders, the number has jumped 80% - 90% more than usual and in the last 7 days alone, we’ve had 400 requests just in Geneva from new restaurants that want to join Smood.

  • What are a few challenges that you have faced as a result of the coronavirus?

    Overall there has been a general fear on what impact this could have on the Swiss restaurant industry. Our top priority has been to keep all of our stakeholders, from our employees to the restaurant owners up-to-date with the latest information and measures as well as how we’ll be adapting to support restaurants and our customers at this time.  

    On the operational side, organising the stocking up the delivery team in a very short time due to the increased demand was a challenge. Obviously also locating and organizing all of the necessary gloves, hand sanitizers and masks that we needed has been a challenge but we’ve managed to get this all sorted. In terms of operations, we’re already a digitalised team and our employees are familiar with working on their own laptops so adapting to a work from home environment has not been a problem.

  • What health and safety regulations have you put into place?

    Health and safety is a top priority for us at Smood and it starts with the restaurants. We familiarise all of our restaurant partners with the latest health and safety measures as recommended by the Swiss federal government. For example take Luigia, one of our restaurant partners that does italian cuisine, they’ve made it mandatory that all cooks and chefs use gloves and masks at all times when working and similar measures are in place across all of our restaurant partners.

    When it comes to the pick up of the delivery, the customer's order is is not given hand to hand between the restaurant and the driver but instead left on a designated surface where the driver can pick it up from directly.

    As for our drivers, they are all required to wear masks and gloves when delivering and have hand sanitizer in their vehicles to use each time they change their gloves. For our customers and drivers safety, we’ve also introduced contactless delivery where their order will be placed outside their door and they’ll receive a push notification when the order has arrived.

  • Have you noticed any changes with the types of orders users are making?

    In terms of type of cuisine, we haven’t seen any changes. The usual customers are still buying in the same manner that they did before and new customers are purchasing as we’d normally expect.

    What has changed is the time of ordering, we’ve seen a surge in people who are now ordering food during lunch time which I’d expect is due to the rise of employees working at home looking for a quick and easy lunch time meal. We’re also seeing that peak ordering hours and final ordering hours in the evening have shifted to an hour earlier than usual, which I’d assume is down to people already being at home after work.

  • How are people discovering Smood?

    Even prior to the coronavirus situation we had a very strong customer base here in Switzerland so for us it was a matter of reactivating our users. We’ve found that referrals have been a great way to drive new users to our platform which is really thanks to our loyal customer base. You can also find our apps in the App Store and Google Play and we’re quite active on social media too.

    We’ve recently been increasing the number of email newsletters to Smood customers during the past couple of weeks to keep them informed about the current situation. We normally don't send many emails out but we have been getting a good response over email and have been able to engage and activate customers through this channel.

  • How is Smood working to support restaurants at this time?

    Many of us at Smood come from the restauration industry and we feel the pain for restaurateurs right now. We’ve adapted our onboarding process to make it quicker and easier for new restaurants to get on and have made onboarding completely free, from setting up the account to having a photographer come by to take photos of their menu - our goal is to help new restaurants get started with online delivery in just 1 - 3 days.

    We’ve also reduced or removed the delivery fee’s on our platform. Though this is clearly not an economic decision for Smood as the delivery fees cover almost half of our income. The goal for Smood during this time goes beyond business performance. It’s to help all of our partners and incentivize the Swiss population to support their local restaurants by reducing the barriers to order and making delivery accessible to everyone. We have also partially renegotiated agreements for this period to show our solidarity and support the restaurants.

  • What advice would you have for restaurants at this time?

    First, I’d advise restaurants that aren’t already doing online delivery to start using it. Delivery is a must right now and we want to help restaurants get set up and selling as soon as possible.

    When it comes to the food choices, I’d recommend they assess their existing menu and decide which items best translate for a to-go scenario with the goal to reduce the overall menu size listed online. There’s a reason why pizza has long been a staple delivery item as it travels well and is relatively simple to make. For opening hours, we suggest they adjust this to the demand that we’re seeing from our users - definitely be open during evenings and if possible at lunch too.

    Promoting on social media is also recommended, making your customer base aware that you’re still open for deliveries by posting every couple of days and clearly communicating your opening hours or spotlighting menu items that are available for delivery will help drive orders. If you have a newsletter, engage with your customers there and send them a direct link to the app to order.

  • How will this situation affect Smood in the long term?

    It’s too early to say what long term impact this will have on Smood. One thing is for certain is that we’ll be well prepared for if anything like this were to ever happen again.

    On a positive note, this pandemic will and already has been bringing a strong sense of solidarity across the team, our restaurant partners and across the wider Swiss population as we all work to navigate these difficult times.  

  • Post COVID-19 will delivery become the new norm?

    Delivery platforms like Smood have been growing year on year in Switzerland but have yet to reach widespread acceptance, unlike what you can see in the UK or the US. Though I do expect this situation to highlight to restaurants how delivery can be valuable to them to help drive profits and I’m sure they continue using platforms like ours after this is over.

    It’s also very much in the Swiss culture to go out for lunch or after work to eat with friends, colleagues and family and I imagine once the confinement rules are lifted we’ll see people filling up restaurants and bars very soon after.  

  • Do you think we’ll be seeing ghost kitchens in Switzerland as a result of COVID-19?

    In our point of view ghost kitchens are only interesting if restaurants have a very strong brand presence. We think in Switzerland it’s not yet the right time to have delivery only locations. The Swiss population love to go out and dine and we have a very high density of restaurants in comparison to the population. For the delivery-only model to work, the restaurant would have to have a very strong existing brand where customers are already familiar with their products and quality. It would take a lot of work, branding and marketing in order to succeed in this and we feel like the physical contact is and will always be very important to swiss customers.

Interview with Bastian Heer, Marketing Lead at Smood

Though not yet as popular in the US or UK, online food delivery has been picking up speed in Switzerland. But ever since the coronavirus outbreak has forced restaurants to close their doors, online orders have shot up as customers crave for their favorite lunch time take away or after work meal.

I spoke with Bastian Heer, Marketing Lead at Smood to learn more about how COVID-19 has been impacting their business, how they’re coping and what advice they’d have to restaurant owners at a time like this.

  • FoodHack: How has your business been affected as a result of COVID-19?

    Bastian: Since the past two weeks we’ve seen a spike in the number of orders on our platform and new restaurants joining Smood. Our grocery service, which does grocery deliveries in cooperation with Migros in the Canton of Geneva orders have also been coming in like crazy. Our teams have setup special warehouses in cooperation with Migros to meet the demand and make delivery possible now within 24h-48h. What we offer in Geneva with the restaurants and the groceries enables people to stay at home at all times – and we look forward to expanding it across all of Switzerland very soon. Moreover our amazing team is working hard around the clock to keep up with all of the demand and ensuring that new restaurants who want to join are able to do so quickly and easily.

  • Can you quantify the growth for us?

    Just looking at the traffic on our website, we’ve seen an overall 270% increase on our site in the past two weeks. For online orders, the number has jumped 80% - 90% more than usual and in the last 7 days alone, we’ve had 400 requests just in Geneva from new restaurants that want to join Smood.

  • What are a few challenges that you have faced as a result of the coronavirus?

    Overall there has been a general fear on what impact this could have on the Swiss restaurant industry. Our top priority has been to keep all of our stakeholders, from our employees to the restaurant owners up-to-date with the latest information and measures as well as how we’ll be adapting to support restaurants and our customers at this time.  

    On the operational side, organising the stocking up the delivery team in a very short time due to the increased demand was a challenge. Obviously also locating and organizing all of the necessary gloves, hand sanitizers and masks that we needed has been a challenge but we’ve managed to get this all sorted. In terms of operations, we’re already a digitalised team and our employees are familiar with working on their own laptops so adapting to a work from home environment has not been a problem.

  • What health and safety regulations have you put into place?

    Health and safety is a top priority for us at Smood and it starts with the restaurants. We familiarise all of our restaurant partners with the latest health and safety measures as recommended by the Swiss federal government. For example take Luigia, one of our restaurant partners that does italian cuisine, they’ve made it mandatory that all cooks and chefs use gloves and masks at all times when working and similar measures are in place across all of our restaurant partners.

    When it comes to the pick up of the delivery, the customer's order is is not given hand to hand between the restaurant and the driver but instead left on a designated surface where the driver can pick it up from directly.

    As for our drivers, they are all required to wear masks and gloves when delivering and have hand sanitizer in their vehicles to use each time they change their gloves. For our customers and drivers safety, we’ve also introduced contactless delivery where their order will be placed outside their door and they’ll receive a push notification when the order has arrived.

  • Have you noticed any changes with the types of orders users are making?

    In terms of type of cuisine, we haven’t seen any changes. The usual customers are still buying in the same manner that they did before and new customers are purchasing as we’d normally expect.

    What has changed is the time of ordering, we’ve seen a surge in people who are now ordering food during lunch time which I’d expect is due to the rise of employees working at home looking for a quick and easy lunch time meal. We’re also seeing that peak ordering hours and final ordering hours in the evening have shifted to an hour earlier than usual, which I’d assume is down to people already being at home after work.

  • How are people discovering Smood?

    Even prior to the coronavirus situation we had a very strong customer base here in Switzerland so for us it was a matter of reactivating our users. We’ve found that referrals have been a great way to drive new users to our platform which is really thanks to our loyal customer base. You can also find our apps in the App Store and Google Play and we’re quite active on social media too.

    We’ve recently been increasing the number of email newsletters to Smood customers during the past couple of weeks to keep them informed about the current situation. We normally don't send many emails out but we have been getting a good response over email and have been able to engage and activate customers through this channel.

  • How is Smood working to support restaurants at this time?

    Many of us at Smood come from the restauration industry and we feel the pain for restaurateurs right now. We’ve adapted our onboarding process to make it quicker and easier for new restaurants to get on and have made onboarding completely free, from setting up the account to having a photographer come by to take photos of their menu - our goal is to help new restaurants get started with online delivery in just 1 - 3 days.

    We’ve also reduced or removed the delivery fee’s on our platform. Though this is clearly not an economic decision for Smood as the delivery fees cover almost half of our income. The goal for Smood during this time goes beyond business performance. It’s to help all of our partners and incentivize the Swiss population to support their local restaurants by reducing the barriers to order and making delivery accessible to everyone. We have also partially renegotiated agreements for this period to show our solidarity and support the restaurants.

  • What advice would you have for restaurants at this time?

    First, I’d advise restaurants that aren’t already doing online delivery to start using it. Delivery is a must right now and we want to help restaurants get set up and selling as soon as possible.

    When it comes to the food choices, I’d recommend they assess their existing menu and decide which items best translate for a to-go scenario with the goal to reduce the overall menu size listed online. There’s a reason why pizza has long been a staple delivery item as it travels well and is relatively simple to make. For opening hours, we suggest they adjust this to the demand that we’re seeing from our users - definitely be open during evenings and if possible at lunch too.

    Promoting on social media is also recommended, making your customer base aware that you’re still open for deliveries by posting every couple of days and clearly communicating your opening hours or spotlighting menu items that are available for delivery will help drive orders. If you have a newsletter, engage with your customers there and send them a direct link to the app to order.

  • How will this situation affect Smood in the long term?

    It’s too early to say what long term impact this will have on Smood. One thing is for certain is that we’ll be well prepared for if anything like this were to ever happen again.

    On a positive note, this pandemic will and already has been bringing a strong sense of solidarity across the team, our restaurant partners and across the wider Swiss population as we all work to navigate these difficult times.  

  • Post COVID-19 will delivery become the new norm?

    Delivery platforms like Smood have been growing year on year in Switzerland but have yet to reach widespread acceptance, unlike what you can see in the UK or the US. Though I do expect this situation to highlight to restaurants how delivery can be valuable to them to help drive profits and I’m sure they continue using platforms like ours after this is over.

    It’s also very much in the Swiss culture to go out for lunch or after work to eat with friends, colleagues and family and I imagine once the confinement rules are lifted we’ll see people filling up restaurants and bars very soon after.  

  • Do you think we’ll be seeing ghost kitchens in Switzerland as a result of COVID-19?

    In our point of view ghost kitchens are only interesting if restaurants have a very strong brand presence. We think in Switzerland it’s not yet the right time to have delivery only locations. The Swiss population love to go out and dine and we have a very high density of restaurants in comparison to the population. For the delivery-only model to work, the restaurant would have to have a very strong existing brand where customers are already familiar with their products and quality. It would take a lot of work, branding and marketing in order to succeed in this and we feel like the physical contact is and will always be very important to swiss customers.

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