Augment Creative Media, custodians of Hospitality Marketplace, Chef! and Culinary Artist, have been working with RCL FOODS on key projects for over 3 years and continue to develop exciting campaigns with the RCL team. We are proud to be associated with a company that shows heart and is willing to do what it takes to give back to the industry that they serve. The Covid-19 pandemic has made it vital for industry to collaborate and consortiums like this one is an example to us all.
It’s no surprise that the food service industry has been one of the hardest hit by the Covid-19 lockdown, with an estimated 1.8 million people affected across supply chains in South Africa. According to Tourism Minister Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane, approximately 30% of the country’s restaurants have already been forced to permanently close their doors. The re-imposed curfew of 9PM will further stifle the trade that surviving restaurants have had since they reopened on June 17. In protest, many chefs have taken to social media and the streets to draw attention to the number of staff that their establishments employ and implore government to help.
The dire state of the restaurant industry has had the team at Food Partners team at RCL FOODS working hard to identify the best ways to assist their customers during lockdown. Food Partners is the out of home division of RCL FOODS based in Durban. As one of the biggest food service companies in Africa, they serve a multitude of different businesses in different channels from Quick Service restaurants, contract caterers, hotels, retail delis to forecourts and bakeries. From their early days in chicken, the division has grown to offer an extensive range of product solutions including chicken, pies, mayonnaise, sugar flour, peanut butter, rusks and, more recently, spreads and dairy cream alternatives.
The 130-strong Food Partners team wanted to find authentic and practical ways to help the industry. This led to the production of a series of videos with RCL FOODS Executive Chef Brad Kavanagh providing cost saving, hygiene and other tips on getting the best out of their range of products. The videos are a quick and easy, no frills resource aimed at sharing constructive knowledge that will help rebuild businesses.
Another campaign has been their cash-back incentive – when a customer purchases 6 cases of a participating RCL FOODS Product, they receive a R500 cash back directly into their Swiffy account, a WhatsApp-based payment tool. Click here or on the below image to find out more information.
However, they quickly realised that to make a real difference to restaurants they would need to put their partnership principles to the test and join forces with other food service suppliers for the common good of the food service industry. “With consumer behaviour changed and austerity measures in place, it soon became clear that restaurants were going to struggle to restore demand and footfall as lockdown restrictions were lifted,” says Carin King from the Food Partners team. “We all wanted to help but had come to the realisation that the pooling of resources would be needed to offer truly meaningful assistance.”
Including Unilever Food Solutions, McCain Food Service, RCL FOODS Your Food Partners, Tiger Brands Out of Home and leading food service distributor Bidfood, the consortium has developed various initiatives to support all chain and independent restaurants on their journey to rebuild their businesses. At its heart, this collaboration aims to help the many people that restaurants employ, many of whom are breadwinners. Its first step has been working with government agencies TBCSA and FEDHASA as well as the Restaurant Collective to help communicate and promote safe operations in the new COVID reality.
The next has been the development of the multi-media #OneMealManyThanks campaign. Working together with SA Tourism to help get diners back into safely-run restaurants and hospitality, or to support through takeaway, the campaign aims to educate South Africans about the many people behind their meal, those that directly benefit when a customer orders a meal – from the restaurant owner to the chef to the person growing food in the field, and everyone in between. Whether South Africans choose to stay home and order in or dine out, they are encouraged to play their part to help supporting local restaurants and the safety directions that are in place.
“As there are so many people behind every meal, so too are there many people behind this partnership; a remarkable team of committed professionals who have rallied together for the common good of the restaurant industry. We are hopeful that our efforts will yield much needed positive results for all the people whose livelihoods have been adversely impacted.” says Carin.
For more information on the #OneMealManyThanks campaign, or to participate and benefit, visit www.onemealmanythanks.co.za