File photo. Photograph:( Reuters )
Helprestaurant.in team says, over 50 restaurants spread across Chennai, Hyderabad, Kochi and Gurgaon have joined them
There are innumerable instances amid busy workdays and lethargic weekends when we find solace in food and drinks from our favorite restaurants.
When we needed them, the restaurants came to our rescue and provided us with a sumptuous meal, but amid the lockdown, these very restaurants are taking a beating with no business, mounting rents and salaries to pay. At this time of need, why not pitch in and help those that have always served us?
This was the idea behind Helprestaurant.in which is powered by a company Where’s The Food(WTF), and a group of volunteers.
“We work closely with restaurants to help them improve efficiency and processes. Our website was launched on April 2 after we decided that, amid the lockdown and job cuts in restaurants worldwide, we need to give back to our favorite restaurants to help them tide over the current crisis and ensure that they are back in business soonest”, Sadagoban the founder of WTF told WION.
“The main challenges that small and medium restaurants face is the lack of cash flow, which cripples them. Our website lists out our partner restaurants and allows patrons to digitally buy a ‘Foodie Card’, costing anywhere between 170 and 800 Rupees. Once the card is bought by a customer, he/she receives an SMS with a unique code. Our team then credits the amount to the restaurant, without charging any fee. The restaurants can use this income to meet their expenses and stay afloat, as business resumes, people can redeem the Foodie cards. The cards offer lifetime validity and customers can avail anywhere between 5-15 per cent discounts at these restaurants using their unique codes” Sadagoban added.
Helprestaurant.in team says, over 50 restaurants spread across Chennai, Hyderabad, Kochi and Gurgaon have joined them, among others. Currently, the website provides the option for restaurateurs to enlist and also allows volunteers to add their favorite restaurants and help in reaching out to more eateries.
“We are almost losing 5-6 lakhs of money this month, and our stock is going to expire. Besides the room rent and staff salary that we have to pay a lot of other payments also are pending. Even once the lockdown ends, we would need a huge sum of money to re-start the business. The Foodie cards seem to be a good idea, we’ll have to see how it works with our patrons”, Yasmin who owns the Orange Wok Restaurant outlet in Chennai told WION.
The team at Helprestaurant.in includes 11 staff and 22 volunteers, who are also supported by food bloggers to take this initiative far and wide. While the techies in the team worked on getting the website ready, the others reached out to restaurants in the small and medium category.
“As food bloggers we are a part of this community and can reach out to our subscribers on social media and tell them to consider this option. During the lockdown we can connect better to the audience, as they would be glued to social media” Nancy, a food blogger told Wion.
The Helprestaurant.in team hopes to reach out to the larger Foodie community to ensure that their ‘Foodie cards’ would aid small and medium restaurants to get back in action once normalcy resumes.