This pandemic pushes restaurants to innovate and find solutions to adapt to the changes in order to keep their businesses alive. A famous English proverb states “Necessity is the mother of invention” is proving true to a lot of these consumer businesses as they shift their sales models overnight. Here are some of the creative ideas and promos we’ve seen and could inspire you to do the same or adapt it to fit your business.

Creative Coronavirus Specials

Create special promotions that are tailored to their lockdown and quarantine period. Getting “pun-ny” and “creative” with your promotions like offering Quarantine Kits, Immunity Boosters, Lockdown Lunches, Social Distancing Desserts, and Stay Home Hors D'oeuvres will help distinguish your takeout. Some even added toilet rolls and hand sanitizers or other essential supplies with their orders to make it interesting and create a little levity to the current situation.

Frank Laurent Coffee Roasters offering "Stay Home" packs of refreshing drinks promoted through their social media platforms.

Unconventional Takeaway Food & Wholesale Ingredients

Look at your current inventory or pantry to see which are the items that would otherwise spoil - eggs, bulk meats, cheeses, condiments, etc can be repurposed to be sold as sides a la carte or signature sauces. Some restaurants have also turned into “pantry minimart” to provide groceries for their community or their customers as an additional option to purchase from their restaurant or cafe. Besides serving the community, the restaurants are able to move their inventory before they spoil due to the lower demand due the fact that dine ins are prohibited.

Innovated Meat Patties from myBurgerLab.

Heat & Eat Dishes

Some items on the menu were not created for take outs as certain foods would definitely lose heat and texture in transit, therefore you could recreate them as heat and eat dishes instead. These dishes could be prepared ahead of time, kept frozen and be asked to keep refrigerated once it’s sold as a takeaway or delivered to them.

Meal Kits

Taking one step further, some restaurants were able to deconstruct their dishes and packaging them with instructions so that customers could recreate them at home. To encourage customers to try this option, some restaurants have offered promotions or deals that provide some savings especially to target average families of 4 - 5 persons. For example, offering “Family pack for 4” for the price of 3 persons. These are not only fun for customers to recreate their favourite dishes at home, but might give them a reason to interact with your brand through social media by sharing their experiences of cooking and enjoying the meals at the comforts of their own home. Free advertising and word of mouth marketing could very much be an outcome of this effort. 

Image Credit: myBurgerLab.

This is a promo video made by Spill The Beans Channel featuring the Co-founder of myBurgerLab, Ren Yi showing viewers how to fully utilise the Meal Kit at home.

One of the fans of myBurgerLab sharing their "meal kit" recipe at home. These content are great word of mouth marketing and can be used on your brand's platform with permission.

Dewakan an awesome Malaysian restaurant launched their own dinner kit and started a hashtag challenge (#dewakanplatechallenge) for anyone to try cooking like a professional chef at home. The following is a video showing how these meals could be assembled at home.

Food Subscription

Prior to COVID-19, subscribing to a meal plan from your favourite restaurant did not even exist as a concept. This subscription service model is indeed something that restaurants see as a new terrain. Providing customers with a sign up plan and their meals are either delivered or picked up at a predetermined time provides business with a steady, reliable income amidst all the uncertainty. The easiest way to implement this is to build a system that could automate the ordering, payment and fulfilment process. You may want to look into digitizing this entire process to help you manage your customers and this could very much be an investment towards the future, post COVID-19.

Meal Donations

Meal donations are the best way to provide customers with the chance to support their local communities and favourite restaurants. Some restaurants have switched into a donation model where every meal goes to first responders, out-of-work food service employees at-risk communities, and anyone else on the frontline fighting against COVID-19. If your business could not support the overhead costs and break even through this model, some have also used “buy two meals and we donate one” promotion to help give back while maintaining some sales.

myBurgerLab's Pre-order and pickup page has this option for customers to donate a meal for the frontliners.


All these great products or offerings are pretty much useless if your potential customers or loyal customers do not know about them. Promoting your products and services through your own social media platforms should be the starting point, then diving into your customer base to send them an SMS or Email newsletters and participating in Hashtag movements like #kitajagakita or #jombungkus could very much help you communicate your message.

If you have a loyalty app, you could also reach out to your loyal customers by sending them a notification offering them a personalised deal or promotion as you already have known what they appreciate. However, if you do not have a database of your customers it’s not too late to start now. Learn more about your customer’s behaviours and earn loyal customers through a loyalty program as it is loyal customers are more profitable in the long run.

Discover how you can learn who your customers are, how to communicate effectively to them and create a delightful experience for them with your brand so that they continue to support you through this crisis, call or WhatsApp us at+6018 - 9722 620.