The Beehive Pub & Restaurant in White Waltham has adapted through lockdown to provide a Click & Collect service on its signature meals and premium grocery items. Dominic Chapman, Chef & Proprietor, explains how he and his team have fully embraced mobile Order & Pay technology and offers other operators advice.
“Even pre-pandemic, I’d heard positive things about mobile ordering and was keen to look at how the technology could benefit The Beehive. When I saw the Wi5 platform, I was impressed by its simplicity and how easy it was for customers to place orders.
“When we had the window of reopening in the summer, mobile Order & Pay meant our customers could order at their tables with minimal contact. It also made life easier for both staff and customers in placing and taking orders from our garden.”
When lockdown struck again, Dominic found having such an adaptable solution really came into its own.
“The tech allowed us to open up for Click & Collect, enabling us to continue trading. We can offer our customers our Signature Menus to enjoy at home, ready meals for customers to keep in the fridge, as well as premium groceries, store cupboard ingredients and fruit and veg boxes.”
Dominic believes the simplicity of mobile ordering and the use of mouth-watering imagery has led to increased basket value. “As people are browsing they certainly do add extras to their baskets. They might come on to order a pickup of our Signature Menu, and while they are there, think “that looks good” and add a lasagne to keep in their fridge, or some fresh bread and store cupboard ingredients”.
Dominic sees a long-term benefit in continuing the Click & Collect service.
“If you look at Indian restaurants, for example, they do a great job of running a takeaway alongside their dine-in customers. Offering takeout doesn’t add any complexity to our operations and will be a great way to top up revenues during the week.”
It’s this operational efficiency which he believes is key to the success of mobile Order & Pay. “Once you have your digital menu set up, it’s so easy. We placed our QR code prominently on the website as well as links to the Wi5 platform. Once that was in place, we found all of a sudden we had customers making orders, and we didn’t have to do anything. All the hard work is done for you. Before having mobile ordering, people would be calling me and emailing me directly. I had to create documents and spreadsheets to stay on top of the admin. Wi5 has taken all of this away. People have immediately paid, and we have all the orders in one place.”
With new customers, regulars and repeat customers all taking advantage of The Beehive’s Click & Collect service, Dominic believes keeping the menu updated is vital, “I have a member of my team regularly refresh the platform. We change menus weekly, and we make sure to include beautiful, enticing imagery.” In terms of really making the most of the solution, Dominic advises other hospitality operators to make sure the service is really visible. “We direct everyone to our website from our social media channels. Once there, they really can’t miss information on how to place their orders. With customers now so used to ordering online, we haven’t encountered any issues.” Dominic ends on one piece of advice, “Don’t be scared of technology. Embrace it. It does the hard work for you.”