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How customers and businesses can ‘Pay it Forward’ during COVID-19

For businesses wanting to engage their customers and ask them to help them in their ‘pay it forward’ mission to supply those in need with extra food and supplies, we’d like to share some suggestions.

While COVID-19 is the worst disaster to hit the hospitality industry in living memory, it has also given us a unique opportunity to come together for a common cause. It’s been truly heartening to see pubs, restaurants, coffee shops and others adapt their businesses in order to stay open, but not just that, to use the opportunity to ‘pay it forward’ and give back to our nation’s key workers and vulnerable communities. We’ve seen companies completely change the products they’re offering in order to provide based on need; coffee shops are selling grocery boxes and pubs are making ready meals for nurses.

During this time, we’ve been working hard to help businesses that have never used digital ordering, get online, start taking orders and payment. We’re doing this, not to profit from disaster, but so we can help companies that want desperately to remain open, and so their customers can continue to access food.

For those businesses that want to engage their customers and ask them to help them in their mission to supply those in need with extra food and supplies, we’d like here to share a few suggestions.

Add an item or donation value to your menu

Using your Preoday (a QikServe company) online or mobile ordering platform makes the addition of menu items easy. Simply access the dashboard and then, on the left side menu, click ‘menus’ and then ‘items’.

Using this feature, you can add ‘Donation to NHS’ as an item, or something more local, such as ‘Donation to Demelza House’.

The next step is to assign a value, be that £1, £2 or £10. You can either add smaller values, then customers can request a number of ‘orders’ of it, or put multiple donation items on the menu, each at a different price point. Once the customer has placed the order, you can then take that amount from the bill and donate it forward to the recipient of their choice.

If you don’t want to ask for money, you could make it a tangible menu item: ‘A ready meal for Homewood House School’.

Send a meal to a person in need

Within the dashboard of the Preoday platform, you are able to apply a promotion and display it as a banner at the head of your menu (or opt for it to pop-up when the menu is first accessed). What this promotion says is up to you. Why not change the words to describe your ‘pay it forward’ offer? For example, the banner might read:

“For every pie you buy, we’ll donate another to the NHS”

Set up a donation page

There’s no need to have digital ordering for the third option in this list. However, given that customers will be visiting your website in order to make their purchase, it’s a good opportunity for you to share a post, telling visitors what you’re doing to pay it forward, and explaining how they might help.

There are numerous routes you can take with online donations. You can:

  • Ask donors to send money direct to you to pass on, en masse.
  • Point them towards a charity portal you’ve set up.
  • Suggest they place an order for goods through your portal and guide them to use the delivery address of a local charity or location they’d like to support. So that you can note it as a donation, you will need to ask them to leave a comment highlighting it as such within the ‘special requirements’ on the checkout page. They might also leave their name so that you can label the package for delivery.
Expand your offering

If you know that there are goods in short supply locally, why not use your resources and supply chain contacts to see if you can source low-stock items? You can then sell these through your ordering platform – or even put together grocery and/or health and safety boxes for people to order. A box of toilet rolls, hand soap and sanitiser, surface cleaner and wipes would be perfect for people who have struggled to find these items in their usual local store.

Talk about it

No matter what route you choose to integrate donations into your business at this time, be sure to let customers know how they can access and contribute to your efforts. In this time, everyone wants to offer their support, and your loyal customers will be glad to see you being proactive in your approach.

If you want to explore the ideas from this blog with us further, please contact our customer success team now Download the guide

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