Speaking on BigHospiality’s latest United We Stand Podcast, Sethi said the Coronavirus crisis had accelerated the growth of delivery and that the sector was now about to see the ‘next phase of the restaurant model’.
The group - which operates some of London’s most high profile restaurants including Gymkhana, Kitchen Table and Lyle’s - has re-opened over half of its estate for hot food delivery and is looking to introduce a nationwide meal box service next month.
“If we look at the shape of the restaurant world going forward post COVID-19 having a delivery offering wherever possible is going to be a crucial aspect of making the financial returns we all need. I see this as being a permanent part of what we do,” says Sethi, who runs JKS Restaurants with his siblings Karam and Sunaina.
JKS Restaurant brands currently offering delivery include Gymkhana, Hoppers, Brigadiers and Bao. The group’s delivery-only Motu brand is also back up and running at its dark kitchen sites.
Bao has launched a sub-brand called Rice Error, which offers a home delivery and click and collect service that bring Taiwanese-inspired Chishang Biandang rice boxes, DIY BAO meals, Taiwanese fried chicken and Horlicks ice cream.
Some JKS Restaurant sites - including Lyle’s, Sabor and Bubbledogs and Kitchen Table - are still mothballed but are expected to re-open with some sort of offpremises offering soon.
Around 50 of JKS Restaurant’s 750 staff have been brought off furlough to operate the kitchens.
Sethi said that a shift in mindset from teams and the public following the Prime Minster’s announcement that those that could not work from home should return to work had given the group confidence to restart operations.
“It’s good to be talking about our brands and our food and drink again,” says Sethi. “And it helps our employees, they are keen to get back to work to support their own physical and mental health.”
#UnitedWeStand has been created by William Reed hospitality titles BigHospitality, Restaurant magazine and Morning Advertiser and is supported by Britvic, CocaCola European Partners and Unilever Food Solutions.
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