For the first time ever, TT Restaurant Week (TTRW) has gone virtual. And a partnership with foodDROP will allow foodies to get the same great deals on restaurant menus delivered to their doors.
Virtual Restaurant Week started on July 27 and ends on August 8.
TTRW founder Shira Mohammed said the organisation still intends to have its usual restaurant week at the end of September but both parties wanted to help boost the restaurant industry.
TTRW is a ten-day festival in which participating restaurants have prix fixe (fixed price) menus at various discounted prices for food lovers to enjoy.
She noted that restaurants were closed for a while and reopened under strict health and safety guidelines. “The limitations in which they have to work is really hard but, of course, understandable and they are willing to do it. However, business is still very slow and the physical distancing rules allow for even less customers.”
And so TTRW and foodDROP, an online market place app that offers on-demand food delivery from participating restaurants, decided to do something about it.
She said the idea was born out of necessity and did not know if the Virtual Restaurant Week would happen again, but TTRW organised the restaurants and for this event, discounts ranged from 15 to 25 per cent.
Mohammed said over the past two years, DROP, the rideshare service, was available on the TTRW app for transportation to go to those restaurants. DROP launched foodDROP last year and the new partnership with Virtual Restaurant Week seemed a natural one.
“We work in harmony because we both seek the interest of the restaurants. We knew restaurants were having a hard time. Some could not reopen, some closed permanently, others are only opened on weekends so we decided to host a virtual restaurant week.
“It’s a special to offer restaurants the opportunity to catch themselves. And people who are watching their pennies, if they have occasions, or would like to have a small get together with their friends, this is an affordable time to do so.”
Jade Piper, operations manager at foodDROP, agreed. She said they received feedback from restaurants that they were struggling so foodDROP partnered with TTRW and the alliance was powered by VISA.
“Restaurants can serve more than their seating capacity with the covid19 restrictions. It’s also a push for customers to try restaurants they were not accustomed to, and get a discounted value with virtual restaurant week.”
Virtual Restaurant Week, with 24 restaurants at 32 locations, can only be accessed through the foodDROP app.
There are five categories at different prices: Something Yum – $75, Lashing Nice – $120, Mad Flavours – $200, Wicked Delicious – $250, and Crazy Saporous – $300.
Those who never used the app would have to sign up at some point but using it is simple. Here are some instructions: Download the app and open it. Customers will see restaurants available to them based on their location.
“Restaurants would have a radius in which they would serve to. It varies with different restaurants. Some want to get as far as foodDrop would allow them to and some, their food does not travel as well so they will keep their radius lower.”
Choose a restaurant and click “order online” which sends the customer to the restaurant’s menu. Customers can add the selections to their carts, check out and fill in the payment information.
“All our payments are done via the app. There is no exchange of cash, no swiping of any cards or anything like that. We want to keep it that way especially now when the least contact possible is encouraged.”
However, foodDROP hopes to get VISA debit card transactions online soon.
When customers pay with their VISA credit card, they get ten per cent off their next foodDROP order.
Piper explained that, after the first order, a voucher code will appear for the next order. The use of that voucher is not limited to the Virtual Restaurant Week menu but can be used at any restaurant on the platform.
While menu prices are fixed, the delivery price is not. She said the base fare is $25 for the first two kilometres and $1.75 per kilometre after that. She said their system would calculate the shortest possible route and that would be the charge.
“The customer will see the cost of delivery before they actually swipe to confirm their order.”
Participating restaurants include Annies, Buzz Bar, Chaud Café, Chaud Restaurant, Flame Express, Hakka, Himchuli Restaurant, Hyatt Regency, Inka at the Residence, Island Beer Chill and Grill, Kay Bees Stonebaked Pizza, Magnolia Café, MammaMia Café, Marias Bakery, More Vino, Passage to Asia, Paul A Grant Butchers Steak House, Samurai Japanese Steakhouse and Sushi Bar, TGI Fridays, The Green Jacket Restaurant, Trader Jack's Island Grill, Woodford Café, Zazou Kitchen, and The Auditorium Restaurant and Lounge.