Chef Tristan Rosier had two options when the restaurant shutdowns were announced – stay at home and watch Netflix or come up with a new business idea – stat. He chose the latter.

24 hours after hospitality venues in New South Wales were told to close their doors, Tristan Rosier had to make a decision.

Three days later, Arthur To-Go was in full swing and is now feeding Sydneysiders four nights a week. Arthur never offered takeaway before, but the future of the one-hat restaurant is now in the (recyclable) bag.

A total venue shutdown was imminent given the increased frequency of government press conferences. Chef and business owner Tristan Rosier knew closures were impending, and had two ideas to keep his one-year-old business afloat: Arthur To-Go (ATG) or selling burgers.

ATG won out, and the team decided to introduce takeaway in the days leading up to the ban on dining in. The stream of customers had already begun to dwindle, and Rosier saw pre-prepared meals as an opportunity to offset the loss of their usual eat-in trade.

ATG started with 70 meals for two for $30 a pop, which moved to 40 meals on the second day. “It impacted on normal diners too much,” says Rosier. “We had a game plan to run takeaway from a window at the back of the restaurant, but then we couldn’t operate as a restaurant anyway.”

So the team integrated e-commerce platform Shopify with the restaurant’s dotcom and sales have been booming. Turns out you can offer a restaurant experience at home and customers are more than happy to pay – to the tune of selling out ATG’s offering every week.

Read the rest of the story in the May issue of Hospitality magazine.

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