Sarah Heward, Co-owner of The Real Food Café in Tyndrum says going online has yielded astounding facts for her business.
Based in the beautiful Scottish Highlands, the team were riding high pre-Covid – making profits, winning awards and on the brink of opening a new unit.
After the first lockdown, the Café was forced to close and re-opened with online ordering and cashless sales only.
To date, the cafe has only traded for 15 weeks out of the total year.
We took £435K in just 15 weeks
Despite the difficult journey, Sarah has discovered some remarkable facts that are shaping her future strategy.
To set the scene, in the 15 weeks opening from mid-July to the beginning of November the restaurant took £435K sales in total.
This was achieved with only 61% of normal customer numbers.
Sales were at 80%, compared with the same period last year.
Customers spent 30% more online
“The average value sales coming from an online order was 30% higher than traditional face-to-face sales,” said Sarah.
Put another way, without the benefit of the online ordering, we would have taken £55K less in the 15-week period.
“If you apply this hypothetically to our 2019 revenue, it would have given us an extra £190K profit,’ says Sarah.
The value of online retailing
This learning has been without a doubt the best thing to come out of the current crisis for the shop.
“Without the pandemic causing this economic and social shock, we may never have come to understand the value of online retailing or at least not for many years,” said Sarah.
Sarah is gearing up to launch a new flagship takeaway and delivery-only shop in Glasgow with a dark kitchen to fulfill online orders.