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  • Writer's pictureMai

When all you needed was a friend...

The team from Halal Food have been active in talking to many Restaurants and food Outlets across Australia that provided to the Halal Diners of Australia. It has taken us a while but we wanted to stand up and say a few things to our Listing Members. Whether you are the restaurant in the small town (you know who you are) or the large Franchise located in every city. We value you and appreciated your support.

We are fortunate that when we started the path of Halal Food for the Australian diner that we had a chance to experience meeting such a dynamic and strong group of owners and managers across Australia. The professionalism that you have shown during such a overpowering challenge has been resolute. Yet we know that sometimes it is not enough to just stand up to the challenge alone. So on behalf of everyone at Halal Food we wanted to make our position clear and say to you...

"We are standing here with you, we will not budge, we will not flinch. We will stand with you on the abyss of this changing world and when things get better we look forward to seeing your smile with us over a coffee..white and one sugar please."

It is important to back up what we are saying with more than just words. It is the actions that speak loudest when everyone else is yelling over each other to stand out. So after spending the last two weeks openly talking our team have put together a little list of points that you might want to consider.

So let me dive right in and start putting our action plan on the table. This will take up about 10 minutes of your time...

1. Upgrade your Online Profile:

We recommend owners to consider that while you may have some time available it is now the right time to consider "future proofing" your business. Pick up momentum for you, for your business and keep rolling forward.

Upgrading your website, social media, profiles, images, photo bank
Have time? Time to Upgrade....
  • Focus on updating your menu

  • Focus on taking the right images for your business (

  • Focus on Brochures, Pamphlets, Catalogues and Promotions for the next year.

  • Focus on giving your Website an uplift and integrate online ordering (don't rely on paying commissions to the delivery services) bring it in house and own your business.

  • Focus on enhancing your Social Media Pages give them the overhaul they deserve to bring in line. Many Facebook pages have old images update them.

Halal Food will be happy to support any of our member Listings wanting assistance with Brochures, Pamphlets, Website Design, Hosting, Setup and more at no cost to your business.

2. Effective Marketing to your customer base: We recommend owners implement information flow to your customer base. Engage with your customers! Some exciting stories have come back to us from our Members with some changing focus to support local community groups with catered food at cost.

Targeted Marketing at your Customer Base
Engage with your Customer - Regularly, keep them informed
  • Tell your customers you are here and still operating

  • Tell your customers you are being proactive in not just meeting the new Dining Standards but exceeding them. Some great info graphics available to do that.

  • Tell them you are supporting the community, show them your community initiatives, Promote your website

  • Promote your Coupons (Don't have any? We can help with that!)

  • Sell them your Store Vouchers (Don't have any? We can help with that!)

Halal Food is happy to support you. We have the experience,features and systems in place to allow your venue to Mass Market to your customer base and are happy to do this ongoing. Halal Food will provide this service at no cost to our members that want to get active in providing information to your members we can assist in managing weekly,fortnightly,monthly email info graphic campaigns to support you.

3. Training your greatest Assets: While your in this challenging position consider training your staff. Send the "core" of your staff into short courses. There are a number of options available to you as most Training Facilities offer Online, Part Time or Full Time courses. To get an idea on how your Local, State or Federal Govt is committing resources to support this path visit the links below.

Upgrading Skills gives real benefits to your business
Halal Food - Recommend Skill upgrades

You are keeping the momentum within your Establishment, investing in your greatest assets and pushing forward with a stronger position at the end of this challenge. Keep in mind that your other option is to let go of your staff in which case your assets are now at risk of being secured by your competitors and loss from your business.

Halal Food are happy to support you. We can assist in identifying suitable courses and contacting Government or Training Providers for the purpose of negotiating rates etc. Lets take a collective approach to get a better price and enhance that workforce.

4. Upgrades and Fitouts: Consider it might be a good time to do any upgrades or enhancements to your Venue. Renegotiate with your landlords to offset the cost of upgrades with your rent. The payments for the upgrades may be claimable under the new tax offset breaks and you could get a fair portion of your rent for a 1 -2 month period. This approach really needs you to sit down at the table with your Agent or Landlord. Potentially throw onto the table a restructured lease with reduced rental rate and agreed upgrades to your Venue. Now might be the right time for new fit outs, signage, open the imagination and see what is out there to support the change you want to give your Venue a new look for when the market turns around.

Venue Fitouts

Lets be real - this is a costly exercise in time and money and not an option for everyone to consider but we all know that a "New" Restaurant attracts a new market and excitement in the old market. So the question is how do you position yourself to maximise the market when things turn around. (We know they will...)

Halal Food can provide support with introductions to tradespeople and companies that are able to assist with fitouts. We can also assist with the design and manufacturer of signage at lower costs than mainstream suppliers. We have exclusive arrangements for distribution with overseas Manufacturer's specialising in range of effective signage.

5.Improve Operational Standards:

This is a dynamic one and hard to materialise as it often requires a change to be made which is not easily measured for returns. The streamlining of Service and minimising contact points is now the new "Orange". Improving Operational Standards provides benefits not only in savings, it delivers benefits to your staffing and diners. Some key areas to consider:

  • Payroll - This is the elephant in the room. It is critical to ensure that the correct Awards and Rates are being paid to your staff. If not then you only need to pick up the newspaper to see over the past 24 months how much of an "ouch" failing to do so is. There are a number of good systems out there and this is either outsources, managed by accounts in house or handled by yourself. Consider a review of your Payroll.

  • Efficient Kitchen, Food Preparation, Staff Flow. Give this a good overview spend time reviewing the workflow and give it a WHS Risk Assessment approach. Perhaps even consider having a Third Party step in and give you a healthy reality check. We are not saying rush out and Gordon Ramsay the moment but take a step back and look at how others around you are standing out.

  • It is a new Dining World. The word of Social Distancing has value...about 1.5m (and increasing). So it is important to look at your seating arrangements. Do consider thinning the tables and chairs out so that the Social Distance rule is easily recognised and enforced for the enjoyment of all. Consider dining duration for guests and how this reflects on increasing turnover. Complement this approach with other key considerations such as removal of Menu per diner (per table) instead implementing a larger board at entrances so people are able to identify what they want to eat without interacting and increasing risk. (This also reduces risk to staff). Consider Sanitiser stations at every entrance and exit, include sanitiser stations at toilet facilities entrances, stairwells - any place that there is a real risk should be conservatively included. Consider disposable table covers so when a dining experience is completed everything is replaced. Have regular cleansing take place at vacant tables, seating areas. Consider Cashless environment. Reduce the risk of handling cash where possible. Implement Facilities to allow for "Tap and Go", "Pre Paid" or "Vouchers". Support this by ensuring that all merchant facilities are properly cleansed after each transaction. Now we understand some of this is really about promoting your Venue as proactive in measures but the aim is to deliver to your customer a sense of security and confidence in how you are managing the risk to them.

  • Your Menu. The team at Halal Food have been fortunate to see the diversity in Menu from Cities and across Regions. The largest Menu we have seen had over 120 Items! The most efficient of Menu Items have an average of 10 - 15 Items. The smallest Menu is 5!! Having a Menu list that is manageable delivers savings and streamlines your kitchen. Consider that by enhancing your Menu List to a smaller list means less stock held in the kitchen it also means reduced preparation time and cooking time (this means faster delivery of meals to Diners - increasing your turnover of time per table). Focus on delivering quality meals not quantity meals. The diner is getting smarter and social media is always quick to deliver a few comments out there in the www.

6.Listings and More:

The team from Halal Food have been active in working with many of our new listings and we have been excited to see how this has grown. We did not see this change happening as fast as it did and want to offer our own "Halal Food Stimulus Package".

  • A full refund available to those that have joined since January and request it. If you want to take advantage of this offer just notify our Store Manager by email and he will follow up with a call to put everything in order. We anticipate that any refund requests will be processed within 2 - 3 days.

  • To those venues that are watching every cent and have an invoice from us. Don't worry about it...put it to the bottom of the pile and lets talk about what we can do to help get momentum forward for you. All invoiced services will be upgraded and activated straight away.

  • Reviewing Teams will continue to place orders with Member Listings to rate and review Food, Budget, Value ratings etc. We understand we will not get to sit down and experience your wonderful atmosphere but we are just happy to place an order with you that will be a little gesture from us.

  • We will maintain all current upgraded listings and even encourage you to work with us to enhance the images and menu features so we can work for you with Tourism,Local Govt and State Govt there will be no cost for this.

  • All listing commencement date is to be changed. Any listing that has started or about to start with us will automatically start from July 1, 2020. So your renewal payment will not be due for a long time from today... So if your on an annual plan with us and you started in January 2020 your renewal payment would normally fall due in January 2021. This will change. All listings will have a commenced date set to July 1,2020. So the next renewal payment will not be due until July 1, 2021.

  • Halal Food will provide access to any of our Upgraded Members to range of services at no cost. So if you need a photographer to go snap happy - we got you covered! If you want a website built for your Venue - we got you covered. If you want marketing, pamphlets, menu designs and anything else - we got you covered.

So there you have it from the team from Halal Food. We are here to help and when everyone else is "doom and glooming" we are excited with the challenges ahead.

We know that an exciting new change will be borne from this. Lets stay focused on the Finish Line and not be distracted by the journey to get there. When you look at the great Athletes of the world preparing for the pinnacle event - they are unwavering - they are staring down the track imagining themselves crossing that line first. They do not ponder on the "what if", they do not worry about the competitor to their left... it is a single minded focus to the finish line.

Once there then the spoils can be enjoyed, when we are there together and enjoying that coffee, together, we can chuckle and recall the madness of the world that once was....

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