Retailers have had to make big changes in order to remain open during the COVID-19 pandemic. The team at the Little Greek Fresh Grillchain is no exception, quickly pivoting its model to meet the immediate needs of consumers, while making a difference in the communities it serves across Florida, Texas, Arkansas, Illinois, Kentucky and Ohio.
When the chain’s team noticed that many of their customers were struggling to find basic goods, they stepped up with a solution.
Before the new coronavirus, the vast majority of Little Greek's 44 stores used Paytronix Systems’ Paytronix Order & Delivery tech for takeout orders. Customers could come into the store to pick up their food and skip the line, or at some participating stores, have their order delivered.
When the shutdown began, the retailer pivoted to sell grocery items like raw chicken, eggs, and even toilet paper on the same platform it sells its prepared meals, Jennifer Bujalski, director of administrative services, Little Greek, tells RIS. It also began using Paytronix’s curbside feature, so customers don’t need to leave their cars.
“When the pandemic closed our dining rooms, we thought of the many people in our community who couldn’t find the items they needed at the grocery store, and all of our high-risk neighbors who can’t safely shop for themselves,” said Bujalski. “We have access to basic grocery items through our distributors and our vendors. Especially at the beginning of this, when people couldn’t find chicken, or ground beef, or eggs, cheese, potatoes, toilet paper – those are all things we could buy, because as a restaurant, we have unique access to vendors. We’re trying to help the community in any way that we can.”
Since the retail technology has such a simple and easy to navigate back end, Little Greek had the grocery items live on the online ordering menu across its stores within a few days, Bujalski explains.
“We asked their support team to help us with some of the set up, and their customer service is always there, always helpful,” she notes. “Paytronix went above and beyond and got the curbside pickup enabled immediately, almost day one of this whole pandemic.”
The quick implementation has been a win-win for Little Greek and its customers. The sales have helped the stores to cover some of their labor costs, while the customers have really responded well to the new options and have given a lot of positive feedback, Bujalski says. The retailer has also made some of the grocery items unique to Little Greek, for example selling its chicken marinade with instructions on how to cook and use it, helping to build shopper loyalty.
“People started ordering the grocery items right away, and it’s so easy with the curbside feature to just put the groceries right in their car, without them ever having to interact with an employee. It’s safer for everyone, and we’re happy to be able to provide a necessary service to our community.”
Bujalski advises other retailers that consumers are looking to them to lead the way in safety and cleanliness during this time.
“We are all learning from one another; businesses need to monitor the sentiment of their guests and adjust as needed to make sure that guests feel safe,” she says. “For Little Greek, ordering online has made the guest interaction smoother and they leave our stores knowing that we are working hard to make their experience great.”