This pandemic has an incredible impact on restaurants and businesses. In these difficult times, restaurants must take proactive measures to not only keep stores safe in accordance with guidelines but also ensure continual sales. Fortunately, it is not all doom and gloom because there is always opportunity in the midst of adversity. These are some of the restaurants that manage to keep their chins up and one was even performing well during the outbreak.

From the East: Lao Ya Ji Winning During A Pandemic

The brand was launched due to the love of the founder Uncle Wu, aspiring to share his hometown delicacies. The reason the Duck Pot was chosen was that it was a common healthy dish that their customers love. With the decrease in the number of family dinners and the proportion of the younger generation who could make main courses, they made sure their product is not only tastier than normal take-out, affordable and convenient in order to create a demand for their signature dish. With one product, they were able to increase efficiency, improve standardization and maintain quality. This reduces costs drastically due to lower operating costs from owning a smaller storefront and kitchen; coupled with offering home delivery services Lao Ya Ji was able to garner better sales and higher salaries for their employees.

Left Image: The compact store front with limited seatings / Right image: Duck Pot as the main dish of the restaurant.
Customers can reheat the main dish at home without altering its taste.

In fact, this brand was not designed specifically for the pandemic situation, however, it took them 3 years to prepare. Fortunately, the strategies they have implemented paid off during the pandemic, with their revenue in March 2020 exceeded January before the epidemic. They took advantage of their delivery services which worked very well and applied it to their sister brand Lu Yu which resulted in a recovery of 60%-70% of that business.

Uncle Wu who is the rounder of Grandma's Home, the mother company of Lao Ya Ji (founded in 1998 in Hangzhou); with 21 years developing Grandma's Home from a small corner noodle shop to a large restaurant group that now covers more than 60 cities in China with over 200 stores and 8,000 employees thinks that the future of the food and beverage business will consist of two parts; offline and online (which includes dine-in and delivery services). He added that the whole catering business will continue to grow and the border between online and offline business will become more and more vague.

From the West: Taco Bell Beefing up their Pick Up Service

Taco Bell, a popular Mexican fast-food chain in America is constantly looking for ways to innovate systems and platforms merging technology within their operations. Even though the majority (70%) of Taco Bell’s business derives from drive-thru, they have recognised that their biggest opportunity during the epidemic and beyond was the digital order-ahead and curbside pickup channel. The brand was leaning towards pre-order and pick up prior to the outbreak but the implementation of the technology will be accelerated in response to the current situation.

Data even proved that it didn’t need to take a health crisis to drive interest in pick up. Rakuten Ready’s order for pickup data report showed a sharp uptick in this channel; driven by customer's demand for speed and convenience. The study shows that the order for pickup service is up to 137% faster than other channels. Further, nearly 80% of customers said they would be willing to choose order-for-pickup over delivery if they knew their food would be ready the moment they arrived.

Key Takeaway and Insights

As business models and needs vary across the board, the principles and learnings from these examples can still be utilized and adapted for your brand. Aside from perfecting your product, it is vital that your customer service is relevant and meeting your customer’s needs and expectations. Recognising the opportunity to improve and invest in merging offline and online dining experience is the key to run a sustainable business.

Adopting a mobile-friendly food ordering platform does not need to be complicated. Shoppertise Eats was created to connect you with your customers, to process orders and payments easily in order for your customers to stay happy and tummy satisfied. Our contactless feature ensures a safe and convenient self-ordering service that allows your customers to pre-order ahead; minus the risks of standing in line.

Shoppertise Eats enables your customers to place an order in 5 easy steps.

  • Launch your website through mobile phone, tablet or desktop.
  • Choose which branch to deliver or pick up from.
  • Browse the online menu and place the order.
  • Confirm the order with online payment and contact details.
  • Receive email confirmation receipt and get ready to eat!

 While you manage incoming orders with a Web Admin Portal.

  • Receive new order notification through mobile phone, tablet or desktop.
  • Enter sales order into the POS. Or we can shoot orders directly to the Kitchen.
  • Start cooking or prepare the order for delivery, pick up or dine-in customers.
Homeground in Malaysia

Frank Laurent Coffee Roasters is our very own homegrown brand birthed in Penang. Specialises in coffee, cakes, desserts, and cold-pressed juices, this brand adopted Shoppertise Eats during the quarantine period and managed to navigate through that tough season. Patrons can pre-order their meals on the Frank Laurent Coffee Roasters Website by choosing which of their 5 locations to deliver or pick up from and then pay online for convenience. 

Another well loved and known restaurant from Kuala Lumpur, myBurgerLab manages to operate on a breakeven basis over the last 3 months during MCO as they managed to set up for pre-order and pick up immediately for customers to continually support their chain of restaurants across the Klang Valley. Check out a concise case study HERE. Their loyal fanbase which they have successfully built and kept engaged via various efforts (partnerships and marketing campaigns) and channels like their social media platform and their own loyalty app, mBL+ has really helped them through this very difficult time. Utilising technology and harnessing their fanbase strength, they were able to raise funds to save their business - find out how they have pulled that off HERE.


Every storm has a silver lining. We can choose to weather this storm together by gearing up in looking for solutions to solve our challenges. Speak to us to find out how Shoppertise Eats could support and help your restaurant or cafe move onwards now and prepare for the future. Call or WhatsApp us at +6018 - 9722 620.