KUALA LUMPUR, March 26 — It's a gloomy outlook for the F&B industry. Hit by the Movement Control Order (MCO), most have turned to takeaway or delivery services to earn income to pay their staff and rent.
Some shuttered temporarily until the MCO is over, for fear their staff will be exposed to Covid-19.
This prompted Eat Drink KL (EDKL) to launch their "Faith For The Future" project. It throws a financial lifeline to F&B operators via the purchase of cash vouchers on their website.
The voucher can be redeemed at their favourite restaurant for a dine-in meal, within four months of purchase.
"This will help make sure that when we wake up on April 15, those places and their people will be there to welcome us for a meal," says EDKL Managing Editor Sean Yoong.
Yoong believes that, "Faith is the foundation of this project. You gotta have faith that right now, enough customers who can afford it will share in the effort to keep their favourite eateries alive. You also need to have faith that even though nothing will return to normal so soon, there is still a future for these restaurants."
It is simple. Just go to eatdrinkkl.com/faith, scroll down the toolbar to select the restaurant you wish to redeem the cash voucher. Select between RM25, RM50 and RM100 vouchers and pay for them. The vouchers will be emailed to you.
EDKL promises to forward the money to the respective restaurants within three working days from the date of the purchase of the voucher.
In addition, EDKL has extended a token of appreciation to those who sign up, by offering 10 per cent off your total bill in one receipt when the voucher is redeemed. The discount is also capped at the value of your voucher.
For example, as explained on their website, those who purchase a RM50 voucher, the maximum total discount for the bill is only RM50.
F&B operators reeling from the MCO crisis can email [email protected] to list their restaurants.
EDKL charges a RM3 fee from the restaurant for each purchase of the vouchers. This is to cover their technology, banking and administrative costs.
As of the project's launch, they have nearly 50 venues that cover a wide range of food from nasi lemak, steak to even Japanese desserts.
It's not limited to just the Klang Valley as even Kota Kinabalu is represented. Yoong does not anticipate setting a limit for restaurant sign-ups.
When Yoong contacted these restaurants, about 50 per cent agreed to jump on board immediately in view of the crisis they are all facing to survive.
He does caution that it's not a perfect solution to rescue the restaurants in the long run. "Customers are naturally extra cautious about their spending now and there's not much of a safety net for restaurants without government intervention. Our hope is that it'll help keep the lights on, long enough for things to get better, that some jobs can be saved," he said.
With this project, EDKL reached out to homegrown, independent restaurants and brands. "We started this project mainly with restaurants that we know personally, that have a reliable reputation and are run by passionate folks. The international franchises and large local chains won't genuinely need us anyway," explained Yoong.
If you're worried about redeeming the vouchers, should the restaurants close permanently before you can visit, EDKL has also considered that situation. "We can't make specific commitments for now but we'll do our best to make sure every customer is taken care of, even if that happens."
EDKL has also signed agreements with the restaurants to fully reimburse the customer if they cannot honour the voucher for any reason.