E-commerce is the word on everyone’s lips these days as the sector continues to grow. An expert in this space, Cheetah, recently leveraged its prowess to support the foodservice industry. Launching Restaurant Picks, a new program where local Bay Area restaurants can sell their ready-made and pre-packaged meals via Cheetah's mobile app, customers can now shop the Cheetah app for their groceries, alongside a curated selection of ready-made foods from local restaurants.
"Following the success of our platform's expansion to consumers, we were encouraged to explore new ways to drive revenue to support restaurant owners," said Na'ama Moran, Co-Founder and CEO. "Our new Restaurant Picks program helps small businesses and restaurants with an opportunity to attract new customers and to sell their food through a new channel. Cheetah has added over 300 healthy and family-friendly food options since the coronavirus outbreak began. Now, adding fresh pre-made food from local restaurants gives our customers healthy meal options when they don't want to cook at home, and, furthermore, ensures everyone remains safe and healthy amid the ongoing pandemic. We will continue to modify and expand our business model to accommodate the needs of our community during these uncertain times."
As restaurants begin to reopen this month and adapt to the new health guidelines stemming from the COVID-19 crisis, they've been forced to make big changes that will likely become a standard way of doing business moving forward. To boost sales, participating restaurants can now sell fully prepared to-go meals or specialty items through Cheetah's marketplace, which currently includes hundreds of restaurants and small businesses and thousands of consumers in the Bay Area. Whereas mainstream delivery services typically charge restaurant owners 20 to 30 percent per order, forcing restaurants to raise menu prices to make a profit, Cheetah is charging no commission fees for this service, only the standard three percent credit card processing fee.
According to a press release, Cheetah has been testing Restaurant Picks with a handful of operators and is now available to all restaurants in the Bay Area. Participating restaurants currently include Curry Up Now, offering three family-style Indian meals from Cheetah's Pleasanton location; Hummus Bodega and Frena Bakery, together offering organic hummus, tahini, and fresh baked pita bread from Cheetah's Inner Sunset location; La Mediterranee, offering slow baked pomegranate chicken drumsticks, baba ganoush, and djajiki from the Soma, Oakland, and Inner Sunset pickup locations; and from Cheetah's Soma location, customers can order Tartine's cookie dough and scone dough to bake at home, as well as flash-frozen handmade pizzas from Zero Zero SF.
Hummus Bodega just opened in San Francisco's Richmond District during the coronavirus pandemic. Co-owners Matan Schejter and Din Leib partnered with neighbor Frena Bakery and have been selling their homemade Mediterranean cuisine primarily online. For restaurants like theirs, who did not have a pre-established customer base, they relied on online ordering and delivery to stay open.
"Cheetah is very convenient, and is easy to work with," said Schejter. "We get our orders ahead of time and make one drop-off per day at their Inner Sunset location. This is much easier than delivery, and it doesn't cost us anything because Cheetah isn't taking a commission from us. We appreciate that Cheetah is looking out for us and launching this new program solely to help local restaurants—offering our community new and safer food options. We have seen a lot of repeat customers already and look forward to growing with this great new program."
To purchase items from participating restaurants, customers simply download the Cheetah app and place a grocery order for pickup at one of the participating locations. Each customer in the designated area will receive a confirmation text, which will include a link to add on the restaurant items. All items will be ready for pickup the following day.
"Take-out and delivery services are simply not enough for most restaurants to sustain a lasting business," said Andrew Freeman, CEO and Founder of af&co, a restaurant media relations and marketing company with clients nationwide and throughout the Bay Area, including GGRA. "This is another revenue source for restaurants as well as added visibility, and we applaud Cheetah for putting independent restaurants first, and not taking any commission on the orders. We see this as a big win for our challenged industry."
Cheetah is currently welcoming new restaurant partners for its Restaurant Picks program, so Bay Area restaurants interested in joining should get in touch with the company today. For more industry reports like this, stick around with Deli Market News.