Limited traffic as an opportunity for quality businesses
Part 2 - Lagarto, Field and Bejzment restaurants and their journey in times of crisis
In the first part of the blog, we looked how three companies from among our long-term clients deal with restrictions. We have now interviewed three other brave ones, and they also have a determination to deal with the current situation, believe in hope and positive expectations for the future.
The Lagarto restaurant chain has launched online sales
Owner Jan Hawelka: "Whoever stops, will have great trouble returning. Only by laziness. Lagarto is my life and I can't give it up until I'm at the bottom and alone."
The network of five confectioneries and one fine-dining restaurant located in the Ústí nad Labem region is renowned for its honesty and first-class quality products and services, far beyond the borders of its region. Their most businesses are located in shopping malls. "Therefore, we felt the reduction of operations already on Thursday, when it was decided to close the facility within the OCs. On Saturday, when the ban also affected other restaurants, we opened the first dispensing windows, namely in Lagarto Deli Most and Lagarto Chomutov, followed by our own delivery and delivery from the Lagarto J&J Teplice restaurant. Within a week we launched a completely new e-shop and we offer personal také away and e-shop to order cakes in each city. We believe in this new way out, "says Jan Hawelka, restaurant network owner.
The local financial reserve was able to cover four weeks. And no wonder. "We invested about 15 million in the expansion last year, which is why the reserve is so small. We are currently applying for an interest-free loan, which help to deal with cash flow in the coming months. I am still waiting for a moratorium on loans and also a rental holiday, "adds Jan, who had to lay off 10% of employees, but still keeps his 40 employees, even though only a fraction of them go into limited traffic. The path to sales is challenging, but even so, Jan set up a public fundraiser to help those in need. People are folded for raw materials, Lagarto is charged with labor and delivery costs.
Field Restaurant cooks for hospitals
Radek Kašpárek, chef of the restaurant explains: "We play with every herb, we pay attention to the correct adjustment of meat temperatures, so delivery doesn´t make sense in a Michelin-starred restaurant, I would not be able to sign under such a quality."
For regular guests, there the Field is closed, but even so, the kitchen is in operation and they focus on helping medical staff in hospitals. Every day, 160 lunches are prepared, which are carried in the Kängabox® thermoboxes by the staff of the Prague Na Františku Hospital and the Pod Petřínem Hospital. The costs are paid for on their own and through the DARUJME collection, which is sponsored by the Via Foundation.
"In the end, we will be able to keep most of the employees. We have agreed with only a few of them on their resignation, with the understanding that we will take them back in time," says Radek. After the opening, they plan to adapt more to the Czech clientele, which will be reflected in the lunch and evening tasting menu. A three-course business lunch will start serving again. It's almost as if Field was starting from scratch.
Zdeněk Střížek, the owner and chef, is really active: "We do not give up. We cook for the guests, and especially for everyone in the front line. Our mission? This is a successful challenge #nekaslemenavas.
The first charitable project to support the lifeguard units was created in the kitchen of the Prague burger bar Bejzment, just four days after the closure of the establishments. It started by donating hundreds of portions to the Czech police and at the same time calling #nekaslemenavas for other restaurants, which can also join the support given to front-line people. To help the #nekaslemenavas event, a transparent account was set up and dozens of establishments from all over the Czech Republic gradually became involved. Premium Gastro provided the best Kängabox® thermoboxes for professional food transport into the challenge. We covered the whole topic in more detail in an earlier blog. In addition, hygienic dispensing is provided in Bejzment and customers can come for their burgers in person or have them delivered.
Even Premium Gastro will not be idle at this time. We used this unexpected free time for spring cleaning. During the quarantine, we made several customer-friendly changes and in times of emergency we send all orders free of charge to the Czech and Slovak Republic. We help to choose a modified offer to help operations facilitate part of the work at this time. And in addition, we are now preparing many new products. At the same time we are looking forward to the summer season in a perhaps quite normal rhythm.