HT talks with Robert Devine, Managing Partner of From the Boot, a sit-down restaurant in Philadelphia, about how it embraced online ordering to ramp up its off-premises business.
HT: Share with us a brief history of your restaurant.
Robert Devine, Managing Partner, From the Boot: Founded in 1999, From the Boot is a northern Philadelphia-based, Italian-inspired small restaurant chain with three locations in Ambler, Lafayette Hill and Blue Bell. Our flagship location is in Ambler, and it includes a full wine cellar, along with a full dining room and bar to host private parties and events. The restaurant is known for its great food, comfortable environment, professional service and reasonable prices.
HT: What was the state of affairs before C-19? % of dine in vs. carry out vs. third- party delivery?
Devine: Prior to the pandemic, From the Boot had a heavy and healthy stream of dine-in traffic. While our best customers were in-house seating, we saw about 10-15% in carry-out order volume, and today we are seeing close to a 50/50 split on carry out versus dine in. For delivery, we were engaged with Uber pre-pandemic, and then partnered with Grubhub more recently. Third-party delivery comprises about 10% of our total volume.
HT: How has your business transformed?
Devine: Before COVID-19, we were very focused on boosting our brand awareness in the community through social media and marketing planning and tactics. Then the pandemic hit and it changed everything. … We needed to quickly pivot our business model in order to generate revenue and survive.