How COVID shaped my new restaurant business model

The year 2020 was no joke. Thousands of businesses shut their doors. An already difficult industry was crippled. Between April and June 2020, for the first time in history, restaurants saw their sales decline by up to 100 percent.

But with adversity comes opportunity – and our industry innovated beyond measure.

As a small food business employing 10 to 19 staff at any given time, the kind of events we did – weddings, private functions, and more – were all cancelled, giving us the time and opportunity to innovate systems and streamline our business.

Our food trucks became vehicles to assist those in need. With the help of the Eat Out Restaurant Relief Fund, we served more than 7 000 meals. Our staff learnt new skills and came up with new ideas for the business. Our focus became purpose-driven rather than about the number of people served or the profit.

We opened a restaurant in our house!

Throughout lockdown, I saw an industry being destroyed, people becoming unemployed, restaurateurs shutting down establishments, and tenants struggling to make ends meet.

This is when my wife and I had the idea of creating and opening a restaurant inside our house. Why this crazy idea? Well, rent was cheaper or non-existent – we were paying our bond anyway – so we converted a section of our house to accommodate guests. Soon we were racking up the bookings, from keen diners to people looking for unique and different dining experiences, and those who just wanted to avoid the crowded restaurants.

Our concept dining experience, called AT8Plate, follows the rule of “one table, eight seats, no menu”, and it’s open on Thursdays and Fridays only.

Then we thought: how can we multiply this concept in the industry? The answer: Foodsta, a disruptive new platform that will enable people all over the world to host dinners in their own home or space, offering new business opportunities that are normally only available to restaurant owners.

What do you need to be a Foodsta host?

A space to host guests, a standard kitchen and some pretty good hosting skills.

How do you get onto Foodsta?

Once the app has launched on the App Store or Google Play, download it and get going! Sign up as a host if you’re looking to make some cash, or if you’re simply looking for new experiences, click the “I’m just here to eat” button.

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