The latest episode of our podcast features Sonia Couto, the Founder of MenuSano as she talks about how the restaurant industry has been affected by COVID-19, how foodservice businesses can be supported during this time, and how the Nutrition Analysis software, MenuSano can assist these industries in this climate.
This is part one of two.
The Healthy Menu Podcast – Episode 13: COVID-19, Restaurants and Foodservice, Part One
Light Transcript of Interview
K: We’ve all tried to adapt the best we can but from the perspective of yourself, how have you found it’s been from the perspective of the founder?
S: It’s a little surreal, I never ever expected things to get as far as they have. So it’s hard to say, you know, ‘we had a contingency plan in place’. We kind of knew what to do. We’ve just been doing things as we go. I mean, we’re a tech company so we probably have advantages that, you know, companies like manufacturers won’t, as it will take them a little longer to get up and running.
It’s such an unknown time for everyone in the industry that we’re in, which is foodservice and restaurants. They’re encountering all kinds of issues, and so it’s been a very difficult time adjusting to say the least!
K: From your perspective and I guess the circles that you’re in, what have you heard and what are you aware of, such as stuff that changed for the restaurants on a day to day basis?
S: I mean, everything has changed for them, the way they traditionally operate – I think one of the great things that have been happening over time is how all of these tech companies have come into play and put all these delivery services in place. We never imagined that those services would help food services at this time.
A lot of restaurants are able to continue – obviously not accepting guests in their facilities, but they’re still sort of able to make food, have it picked up by these delivery companies and sort of still generate some revenue. If these companies didn’t exist, we could still have traditional delivery services but I think it will be a lot harder for restaurants to be able to keep up with the demand of the orders that are coming in.
Through these services, it’s making it a lot easier for them, and it’s great because it’s a really tough time for them. This allows them to at least keep busy to a certain extent.
K: It’s funny you say that, it was yesterday that Instagram introduced stickers that now allow restaurants who are on Instagram to take orders from Instagram directly, which is fantastic, because what it’s done is giving them another platform that they may not have already had to place orders with. I guess I think that’s the biggest thing that’s come out from all of this is businesses who are traditional and may not have been able to benefit from this platform are now given a whole scope of being able to leverage the audience that they may already have and to continue their relationship with their diners, which is fantastic during this time.
S: Yeah, you know, one of the things that we’ve always been a big believer of, and we said this when we started MenuSano was “this is going to cause people to not go out and eat” and that was always our back and forth with foodservice and this is a really good testament to that’s not what’s going to happen. No matter what is happening in the world, people are still going to want to eat out. Are people cooking at home? Yeah probably. But guess what? People are still ordering food, people are still eating out. It’s an industry where there’s always a need.