How to transfer in-store purchasing to home consumption – opinion

A business expert from Lahav, a Bank Hapoalim branch manager and the owner of a restaurant and a health drinks chain who began operating a delivery service explain how to cope.

Bank Hapoalim (photo credit: AVIV GOTTLIEB)
Bank Hapoalim
(photo credit: AVIV GOTTLIEB)
Amichai Etadegi
Personal Deliveries for Soldiers on Base
“Our restaurant has been going for the past decade. I worked here as a chef until we bought it, five years ago. Ever since, I’ve been cooking and my wife Ron manages the ‘floor’ and is in charge of service and bookings for events. The space we own includes the restaurant, which is Asian-dairy cuisine, as well as a dairy catering service, a VIP area for closed events and an event hall for meat meals. In the restaurant we serve sushi, handmade pasta, unique salads and more. We employed almost 40 people, and everything was going well until the coronavirus struck. And then, in mid-March, we went into the first lockdown from one day to the next with no warning, which meant we had to throw away a lot of supplies.
“The first thing we did was to furlough anyone we could, and then we made the most of the lockdown period to develop our delivery service and our business. We started to work with an external delivery supplier, made sure we were prepared in terms of disposable packaging and focused on improving the quality of our service. We continued to find work for those employees who were not eligible for the furlough scheme—such as waiters and soldiers who worked for us part-time—because we could not bring ourselves to send them home. During that period I fulfilled a dream of mine and we opened an boutique event hall with capacity for 120 guests next-door to Roquefort.
“Throughout the entire period, we have been advertising our delivery services heavily, and we also went into all the military bases in the area, including ones that are far away. Soldiers put in shared orders and we come to them with coolers and treat them with additional soft drinks, desserts, big portions and low prices. Even now, with the restaurant coming out of the second lockdown, a significant part of our income is from deliveries and the catering service—events and bar-mitzvahs where we bring the food in visually appealing arrangements and even set it up on the tables. We have also started with breakfasts for one, where each customer receives a package that is customized for them. In times like these you have to be as creative as possible.”
The writer is the owner and chef of the restaurant “Roquefort”. Hapoalim 5, Dimona Industrial Area. Tel: 08-6572010
Itamar Hefetz
DIY Drinks Kits for Home Preparation
“We opened the first branch of rebar 14 years ago in the Ayalon Mall, and in the years since, the chain has grown to become the leading brand in Israel for healthy smoothies, with over than 80 branches around the country. We have stalls in closed and open-air shopping centers and on city streets and on-the-go locations. Some of our branches are operated by us, totalling 300-400 employees, depending on the season, and some operating under franchise, with 800-1200 employees. Our brand is based on a small niche market – with a single product : a cup, a straw and a lid prepared to order for the customer on the spot, on request. “When the first lockdown began, we closed all of our branches for more than a month, and at the same time began to work on a delivery concept that had been lying on our desks from even before the coronavirus. It’s complicated with our drinks, because their consistency has to be semi-frozen. That meant we needed to adapt our delivery method and find cold storage solutions so that the product would reach the customer with the right temprature and without negatively affecting the customer experience.
The delivery service is only available from some of our branches that work in outdoor shopping centers, because it is easier to provide delivery service from there. “In the last month we launched our new initiative, [email protected], which allows customers to order DIY kits of some of our most popular items and to prepare the drinks whenever it suits them. These kits come in branded packaging that includes high-quality raw materials such as fruits and nuts with the necessary measurements for a single drink. You take the kit out from the freezer, pour in our yoghurt or apple juice, add three ice cubes and put them in the blender. It’s a different consumer experience, in-home situations , which is different to the experience when a customer stops in the street or as part of a shopping trip to buy a drink. The feedback has been excellent—the number of orders and new customers is going up week on week, and with that we are also expanding the geographical area in which the service is available.”
The writer is one of the owners of the healthy smoothies chain “rebar”. Tel:  03-5272489
Shlomi Lahana
Packaging and Delivery as Part of the Customer Experience
The big challenge facing businesses in the process of entering the home delivery market is conveying the in-store consumer experience to home consumption. At the point of sale, we have almost complete control over the sensory experience—smells, sounds and flavors. We meet the customers face to face and are able to provide an instant response to their needs and their doubts. All of this disappears with home deliveries. There are two elements to this challenge—managing the delivery, which is an area that involves dealing with high expectations by the customers, which have been set having ordered from large international brands. These expectations include delivery tracking that the customer can follow in real time, expected delivery time etc. This is a baseline requirement for entering the delivery market and preventing disappointed customers. The second element is the packaging, which is intended not only to protect the product but also as a marketing, branding and emotional device. As people spend many hours at home in the current situation, every small investment in the packaging and the messages that you want to convey through it will hugely reinforce the purchasing experience.
The writer is a strategy and marketing consultant and a lecturer on marketing at the College of Management
Avital Dechterman
The Right Solution for a Drop in Income
Restaurant owners have found themselves facing new challenges and a new reality that forced them to adjust rapidly. Alongside the process of streamlining and downscaling staffing, they were called upon to launch or expand their delivery sales service almost overnight. The combination of on-site sales with seating restrictions alongside a delivery service has the potential to mitigate a drop in income and restore them to pre-crisis levels—and even to surpass it. At the same time, it is important to remember that this means setting up an online website, operating a delivery system, marketing the new service, adapting it to the purple badge regulations and stocking up on delivery packaging that requires investment and financial expenses. That is why it’s very important to keep a close eye on optimizing spending on those investments by managing the new cash flow situation, adapting the credit structure of the business to the new reality by delaying payments on existing loans, taking advantage of the available state-backed loans and additional funding solutions that exist to meet the challenges of the present time.
The writer is the manager of the Dimona branch of Bank Hapoalim