No matter what happens, people still need to eat, emphasises Ian Ohan, founder and CEO of KRUSH Brands, while commenting on the current situation, wherein restaurants are required to shut down to contain the spread of COVID-19, only operating delivery, takeaway and drive-thru.
“Our focus, at the moment, is not on short-term profitability. There is something much bigger happening out there and we need to help and support each other,” Ohan states.
KRUSH Brands owns and operates Freedom Pizza, Wildflower Poke & More, Coco Yogo Vegan Kitchen and the Salad Jar. Importantly, a tech-forward company KRUSH Brands also owns Big Dwarf Food Technology that develops its proprietary digital, online ordering, operating and delivery platforms. All KRUSH Brands concepts are ‘Powered by Freedom’, the company’s proprietary technology and delivery platform with its fleet of over 200 professional delivery drivers.
As a tech-forward, food delivery group, what are some benefits you’re seeing at the moment?
Ohan: We consider ourselves very fortunate in that we own our entire value chain from online ordering to professional delivery fleet. We are also one of the few industries that has specifically been allowed to remain open. It is now incumbent upon us and we are working on ways to utilise our technology and delivery platform to help some of our industry peers who have had to close their restaurants.
Have you seen a rise in online orders? If so, how much and for which brands?
Ohan: During the initial phases of the pandemic, online order volumes were erratic – plus and minus – but now it has been steady and more business as usual. But our catering school’s business has been rightfully disrupted.
Are you able to maintain the 35-minute delivery promise for Freedom Pizza? Have you had to ramp up fulfillment facilities?
Ohan: Yes, we have been able to maintain the 35-minute delivery promise for Freedom Pizza, so far. We operate our own proprietary professional delivery fleet. Our drivers, however, are spending slightly more time per delivery focused on sanitation, as they sanitise their hands between each and every delivery and also maintain distance at the door.
Are you also waiving off delivery charges?
Ohan: We have waived off delivery charges to customers. We are also working on creating supporting mechanisms for those affected. We recently launched a Teacher’s Club from our Salad Jar Brand to honour their extraordinary efforts during this time. We are also working with some of our restaurant industry peers to help support them and keep their employees paid and economically productive members of our society.