On St Patrick’s week last year, Ireland’s pubs closed down. Along with their business, that of Suzanne Rigby and Mark Hooper went into cold storage. Their company, Tenvito, specialised in digital advertising in bars and off-licences, working with advertisers to target messages to consumers in licenced premises.
By last Easter, they had leveraged their tech and marketing experience – as well as what Rigby describes as a “community” of local businesses – to design and launch Clickandcollection.com. The online platform allows restaurants to manage online orders for meal kits and takeaway menus. As restaurateurs scrambled to adapt to this new business model and creaked under phone calls and emails, Hooper set a simple target: the new offering had to get them online in 30 minutes.
Fast-forward one year and ClickandCollection.com has just passed €7 million in revenue generated by 250 businesses through more than 175,000 individual transactions, Hooper tells The Currency on this week’s podcast.
Mid-pandemic, John O’Connor left a pensionable job at Microsoft to buy into the company. Together, the three partners believe this is only the beginning. Their software now helps restaurants navigate between collection and delivery. “We didn’t really envisage that anybody would be taking orders from all over the country and fulfilling that in any given week with fresh food – and that’s happening, a couple of times now,” Hooper says. Their customers are beginning to come from the UK, and even include a farm shop in Massachusetts.
“This allows them to work with a really automated pre-prepared workflow, so that there’s no waste, there is very good organisation, and as little staff as required,” says Rigby.
“The one thing that we have learned through this whole experience is that we will continue to adapt and we’re well able to.”Suzanne Rigby
Earlier this month, Clickandcollection.com sealed a partnership with Visa, which will sponsor the subscription fees of 500 new small businesses for three months. Packages start at €19 per month plus a 2.9 per cent transaction fee, and businesses with higher order volumes can switch to a higher fixed monthly bill and lower commissions.
Many of those signing up have never been online – yet O’Connor says they may now retain a hybrid model into the future: “Maybe their bricks and mortar presence is their shopfront but they’re able to cater for significantly more than the number of covers than this physical premises can cater for,” he says.
Expansion plans include businesses outside the restaurant trade – butchers, greengrocers, gift shops – and outside Ireland. “The next stage then would be to look into see what capital requirements might be required to expand the business internationally,” says O’Connor. “We’ve got validation in Ireland and the challenges are the same globally, and we really need to try and tap into how we can spread the solution further.”
Their software is also evolving to integrate more distribution channels under one hood. “Our merchants can take orders for collection delivery, for table service or room service or on-premises delivery,” says Hooper. “We provide the software for all these orders to be taken and fulfilled, but we don’t provide the delivery teams.”
Whatever happens, “the one thing that we have learned through this whole experience is that we will continue to adapt and we’re well able to,” says Rigby. “It will be a very exciting time.” In fact, she adds that it already is – despite the difficulties, they have also enjoyed taking on the challenges of the past year.
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