People looking to help their favorite restaurants survive the coronavirus pandemic can now do it through a new annual membership program.
In exchange for a flat fee, customers can score a discount on every takeout meal ordered from their favorite eatery for a year. A $100 membership buys a 25 percent discount; $40 gets you a 15 percent discount, and $25 buys an annual 10 percent discount, said Chris Webb, chief executive of restaurant software company ChowNow, which launched the program on Thursday.
The program is a take on gift cards. Early in the pandemic, diners were encouraged to buy gift cards to help support local restaurants during coronavirus quarantines.
“But if everyone redeems their gift cards as soon as restaurants reopen, the restaurants won’t make any money on the meals they’re serving because they’ve already used the funds,” to stay afloat Webb said. Memberships, by contrast, help provide money upfront and down the road in exchange for discounted meals.
A pilot of the program involving 20 eateries, for example, raised $6,000 worth of memberships in two weeks for Scottish Bakehouse in Tisbury, Mass., Webb told The Post.
Some 675 restaurants across the country — and 61 in the Big Apple — have signed up so far, including Poulette Rotisserie Chicken in Hell’s Kitchen, The Bushwick Diner in Brooklyn and Vegan Love on the Lower East Side.
ChowNow, which provides online food ordering software to independent restaurants, is offering the program to its 15,000 restaurant customers free of charge. But the discounts are only available to people who order their food directly through restaurants’ Web sites, created by ChowNow, and not through third-party food ordering apps like GrubHub, Doordash and UberEats.
The program comes as restaurants across the nation struggle to keep their doors open amid coronavirus lockdown orders that have banned sit-down dining in many states, including New York, Oregon, Massachusetts and California. Many restaurants have been forced to lay people off as they refocus on takeout, which is still permitted but often only brings in a fraction of their previous sales.
Source: Thanks https://nypost.com/2020/04/30/coronavirus-quarantines-lead-to-new-restaurant-membership-program/