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[VIDEO] Extended MCO: How Your F&B Business Can Survive In Malaysia

Since our last live webinar on Facebook, we’ve received more requests for a second session on how F&B businesses in Malaysia can survive the Movement Control Order (MCO) extension to 14 April.

Watch the full version or check out the snippets below.

Watch the full video webinar on how your F&B business can survive the extended Movement Control Order (MCO) in Malaysia

On the extended Movement Control Order (MCO) in Malaysia and what this means for an F&B business

Speaker introduction

[00:00:00.080] – Xinch

I’m Xinch. I’m the Head of Marketing here at StoreHub, where we build general cloud software solutions for retail businesses and F&B businesses. And this is Ian, who is our Product Operations Manager. And he also has this huge background in F&B and retail, and ecommerce specifically.

So both of us are here on today to talk about how you, as a business, can get more F&B sales in this current MCO extension situation.

Now, I’m going to run through some slides and some of this if you guys attended our webinar on Tuesday will be quite similar, but we’ve actually pulled out more really, really cool examples about what other F&B businesses are doing and we really want to share that with you.

How the MCO has affected small businesses and consumer behaviour

[00:00:50.620] – Xinch

Let me start with this, right?

Honestly, if you’re an F&B business now, we salute you because this is a really, really tough time to be an F&B.

I was looking at the data recently and this is the headline I saw today. After the MCO, 70% of SMEs have lost more than half their income. This was really jarring data for all of us to read. And when we look at the (StoreHub) charts of all of our SMEs, our F&B businesses, our retailers, these numbers are proven true.

What we’ve noticed, though, is that a lot of businesses have been a little bit more reluctant to go online, whether it’s offering food delivery or whether it is going on ecommerce. And that’s mainly because we’re hoping and hoping for this MCO to end.

I hate to be harbinger of bad news, but the MCO is here to stay for at least quite some time.

[00:01:54.410] – Xinch

Good news is this, though, online shopping and food deliveries have gone up by 30%.

But I just found out just a few moments ago that it’s gone up to 50% since the COVID-19 pandemic and they’re about to go up even more. Buying behaviour has changed really dramatically.

My parents are considering online delivery and my dad is 70 years old and he used Beep Delivery to order his first meal the other day on delivery ever.

I don’t know about you, Ian,  do you parents order delivery?

[00:02:35.650] – Ian

Not yet. I’m still trying to convince them.

I’m using deliveries to send stuff to them, but they’ve not gotten the hang of ordering yet. I think they have no choice but to have to one day.

What will be covered in the webinar

[00:02:49.010] – Xinch

Yeah, so everyone’s getting used to this and consumer behaviour and buying behaviour has changed. This is essentially what happened in China in 2003 when SARS really hit it.

So we’re getting used to our new reality and our new normal right now. Here today, we’re gonna talk about three main things – how you as an F&B business can get through Malaysia’s extended MCO, and if they continue to extend past April 14, how are you guys gonna get through it?

We’ve broken it down into three quick sections before our Q&A:

Firstly, how do you position your store and your products well?

Secondly, how do you reach out to your customers?

And thirdly, how do you help your customers, new customers especially?

[00:03:52.150] – Xinch

But before we even talk about reaching your customers, how in the world are you going to position your business and your store? What food is best done for food delivery?

How are you going to position your best products well?

I’m going to run through some examples. Ian has been on the ground, and he can really, really walk us through a few things later.

How to position your products to increase F&B sales

Bundling your products to increase average order value

[00:04:09.630] – Xinch

So you’re going to get really creative with bundles.

So some of our customers, some merchants we know like IDC, Little People Café, and Maria’s Steak Café – they’ve started bundling their products so that people buy more.

So you’re paying like, let’s say 7 – 8 Ringgit for delivery, you don’t mind it if you’re buying 50 –  60 Ringgit worth of merchandise. So they started this Buy 3 Get 1 Free bundle at IDC KL on ice cream.

And that’s really increased the average order value quite significantly.

Little People Cafe – because people are maybe afraid of ordering home delivery – they started these Quarantine Starter Packs where you have homemade pasta and pasta sauce so that you can kind of make pasta on your own at home.

And I think in the first two hours, they sold out their Quarantine Starter Pack pack like crazy already.

And then Maria’s Steak Cafe, which is one of my favourite steakhouses in KL, has done a Buy 3 Free 1 wagyu deal. Quite expensive items still, but they’ve grouped it together so that people just buy more and not just one or two things.

So a lot of F&B businesses have started bundling their products. Ian, have you seen anything interesting on the ground?

[00:05:31.750] – Ian

Well, I mean, I’ve started seeing stuff which cater for couples.

So they have a Date Night Starter Pack. I think they include a candle in there as well if I’m not mistaken. There’s stuff of family, there’s stuff for virtual birthday parties. I see people getting more and more creative these days.

So it really is up to you on how to position the best value you can give for that one delivery.

[00:06:01.040] – Xinch

And I mean, it’s even more than that, right?

So many people I know that Ian and even myself, we are sending food and gift packs to our friends and our loved ones and our family because we just cannot be with them right now.

If my parents lived in KL, which they don’t, I would be sending them food too, but I’ve been sending ice cream to friends as happy birthday gifts.

So how can you kind of jump on board?

Can you do gifting packs with little handwritten notes? Those are some ideas, right?

Partner up with your neighbour 

[00:06:34.060] – Xinch

The second really cool thing I’ve seen happen and I’m so proud of this because this is huge.

We’ve seen companies partner with their neighbours.

So this is just one example. IDC, which sells really awesome ice cream, has partnered with Whisk, which is a coffee shop.

So if you order an espresso from Whisk, you get an ice cream from IDC as well. People are just offering more things on their platform.

So this way you get to widen your reach.

And also you get to increase the average order value of your cart. So partner up with your neighbours. If you’re selling pasta, maybe you partner up with the coffee shop next to you.

[00:07:28.720] – Ian

The other thing is also because you can fit everything within that one delivery.

Reach out to the guys around you. If you’re the only one offering delivery, list their stuff on your menu. It’s a great way to increase the overall cart size.

And to encourage people to get the most from you.

[00:07:48.100] – Xinch

And it’s more than just increasing your overall cart size, right?

All the businesses you see around you, they’re struggling just as much as you. And the whole idea of #KitaJagaKita, #SaveOurStores  – this is how we help each other save our stores.

Every coffee or dish that your neighbour sells, helps them and also essentially helps you.

So, yeah, partnering with your neighbours is one of the cooler initiatives I’ve seen so far.

How to use social media and Google My Business to encourage your existing customers to buy from you

Using SMS and WhatsApp to reach your existing customers

[00:09:10.240] – Xinch

Now that you’ve figured out how to position your products and all that, how do you reach your existing customers?

There are two ways we’ve identify.

One is SMS and the other is social media.

[00:09:20.390] – Xinch

So let’s talk about SMS to start with.

And I include WhatsApp here, because for those of you who are able to broadcast WhatsApp messages, what you can do is broadcast on WhatsApp, but for SMSes, there are automated ways like on the StoreHub platform, where you’re able to do it on an automated basis.

So you want to send an SMS out to your customer base, tell that you’re now online and you also want to remember to add your order link.

And give them an action to take like “Order now”, “Get it today”.

You want to add emojis, so people can relate. People read more. But these SMSes are super important, if you’re on the StoreHub platform, you’re actually able to just push this out like automatically through our BackOffice.

But otherwise, just manually send out your SMSes. That’s better than nothing.

[00:10:13.470] – Xinch

So these are some examples. And there’s Lushbowl here.

There’s a Kapiti ice cream for IDC Cafe, and Maria’s Steak Cafe.

Ian, do you have anything to add for this?

[00:10:23.130] – Ian

For some of you, you may not necessarily have your customer data.

Come talk to us.

We’ll share with you what’s the best way for your day to collect all this customer data. F&B, there’s one thing that we don’t normally do is that we don’t really know who our paying customers are. We don’t know their mobile number.

And when comes at times like this, then we suddenly realise, “Ah, how am I going to reach out to them to tell them about this?”.

So you have your social media, you have your SMS, but you know, did you build that audience?

If you’ve not thought about this, start thinking about it now.

Make people hungry with Insta-worthy photos of your food on social media

[00:11:07.350] – Xinch

It’s never too late to start. And aside from SMS, WhatsApp, or Facebook Messenger, this is super  basic, but crazy, important.

Put your website on your social media profile.

I put Instagram here, this is all Instagram, but actually, what you really want is to put it on every social media profile – Facebook, Instagram.  There are so many companies I know, that I’ve seen, their link is here, like kinme.beepit.co, and it’s not clickable. Put it in the website field so people can just click immediately.

Put it on your Facebook profile so that people know where to find you when they go check you on Facebook to see if you’re offering delivery.

[00:11:49.840]

And not just that, right?

You want to shout it out on social media.

You’re now online.

Why isn’t the world knowing about this? It doesn’t matter if you’ve got a thousand followers or ten thousand followers.

This is fast and easy to do.

These are some examples, like Ra-Ft Cafe, which took a really basic approach with text. VCR Cafe had a whole “We’re now available, this is how you order” post, Dao, had a really cool picture that really stood out on my face on my Facebook timeline. A woman in a mask wearing a pickup only sign. It helps make you feel like they’re practicing a lot of food safety. And then you don’t stop there as well.

You want to keep posting.

One post is not enough.

Sitka Cafe does this really well. They take really enticing photos of their fried rice, and they post it every other day because people eat with their eyes. And you want to capture that? So you want to post every single day, different items on the menu.

And the thing is you don’t need a DSLR now to take great photos, right?

You can just use your iPhone, portrait mode, or if you’re an Android phone, I think Huawei is pretty excellent for all this nowadays. Add a filter or two and you’re good to go.

[00:13:11.500] – Ian

I think other things you guys can do is again, tell people.

For those who don’t know you, I mean, it’s good for reaching out to your existing customers.

Just remind them that, hey, you know, how you can buy from us during this period? For those who don’t know you, just have a quick simple post on what kind of things you sell. People are consuming so much content on social media right now since they’re home.

Don’t be afraid to over post. They’re looking for content, so give them something interesting to look at like behind the scenes stuff, show how you’re cooking, what were you doing in your restaurant… Things like that. I mean, people want content.

So give them something fun to consume.

[00:14:13.660] – Xinch

And here’s the other part, right?

Like Insta Stories. Ian is right.

People are just consuming Facebook a lot more.

I just got off the phone with Facebook, and people are spending 50% more time on social media than they’ve ever used before.

The initial estimate was 30%, but it’s actually 50%.

You know how crazy that is? If you used to spend lone hour a day, you’re now spending 90 minutes a day, 1 1/2 hours a day on social media. And it’s just gonna go up because we’re all stuck here for a month at home

Insta Stories are an excellent way for educating your customers. Because they’re short snippet videos. They don’t have to have super high production quality. It doesn’t need to look super pretty and very professionally shot. In fact, VCR Cafe‘s is just full of GIFs and emojis. Crazy cute, right?

But it’s easy. It doesn’t take a long time to make this.

On getting discovered by new customers via Google and fooddelivery.com.my

Get discovered on Google, for FREE!

[00:16:19.670] – Xinch

You also want to get discovered by new customers and two of the easiest ways here – Google My Business and a listing on fooddelivery.com.my.

[00:16:33.230] – Ian

So this is of course, discovery.

Let’s say you’re a coffee business. When people search for “coffee places near me”, you want to show up there in the search results? You want to show up as part of the places. So make sure to get yourself listed on Google My Business.

It’s a very simple thing that’s free to do.

Make sure that you put your website there. It could be your online menu, your phone number.

Remember the first thing people are going to do – they’re gonna try to call you – “Are you open doing this period?”, “Are you offering deliveries or offering takeaways?” – so make sure to put your phone number there. It’s very, very quick to set up.

You can get it done in less than 10 minutes.

List your F&B business on fooddelivery.com.my

[00:17:23.990] – Xinch

But by the way, just to remind everyone, you need a Google account for this.

So just go create a Google account first. You also want to get listed on fooddelivery.com.my. This is a site that my team at StoreHub launched last weekend. So this is just a directory of F&B businesses in Malaysia that are offering food delivery.

Now for those of you who want to get listed, just fill out the form here that says submit.

It costs you nothing and we just link out to your delivery site or Facebook page or if you’re a StoreHub Beep customer, it will go to your beepit.com link so that people can order from you directly.

This is just something we hacked together over the weekend to help businesses like you get more publicity and get discovered more easily by customers and by well, people who are looking to order food. All of us are stuck online and we’re Malaysian.

There’s only so much home cooked food we can really eat. And this is how we get the word out there.

[00:18:48.740] – Xinch

So you also want to start offering things like promotions – free shipping with minimum orders.

And why you want to do this is you actually want to increase the average order value of your cart.

Let’s say you say, OK, I want to order RM50 worth of stuff and you get free shipping. You wouldn’t mind paying a little bit more for shipping if that was the case. It’s just a much better deal and it benefits you as a business because your customers are more for you.

And it benefits the customer because well, I mean, I don’t mind ordering more if my shipping is free and I don’t have to pay for it. So this one of the most basic promotions you can run, essentially.

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YeeLin Thum

Yee Lin is a content creator at StoreHub. When she isn't connecting business owners with knowledge that will help them make their businesses awesome, she is contemplating the makings of the universe at local food stalls.