Small town eateries getting creative in attracting customers during crisis ({{contentCtrl.commentsTotal}})

Empty restaurant (picture is illustrative).
Empty restaurant (picture is illustrative). Source: Pxfuel free

Catering firms in small towns and rural areas in Estonia are looking for new ways to attract customers or retain customers during the coronavirus pandemic. Many such small businesses are now offering the option of ordering hot food at home.

The Kirsimar restaurant in Ambla, Järva County, had already brought out a home ordering service before the crisis broke, according to a report on ETV current affairs show "Aktuaalne kaamera" Tuesday night, though even this evaporated once the emergency situation had arrived.

"Initially, ordering at home proved popular, but when the crisis situation was announced, this disappeared" said Meelis Kirsi, Kirsimar owner. People are even afraid to order by phone, he added.

"In the normal course of things, about 100 people came through in a day, but nowadays 10-15, sometimes more, sometimes less, is the norm. We had set up a lot of birthday events, but these were all canceled because of the crisis," he went on.

"Fortunately, the banks came to us and we got a grace period," he said, looking ahead to the restaurant's future.

"I think [we can last] for two months, if there is no state aid forthcoming, that's all," Kirsi added.

The Vaksal cafe at the historic railway station building in Türi railway station building, in Järva County, has also seen business halved, as people are afraid to leave home, the report said, though people started to order food to home last week.

"The daughter of a 90-year-old man informed us that another, 95-year-old, relative lives on this street, in this very building, and would like us to take them home food every day," said Gerly Tarius, owner of Vaksal.

Should an old man ask the food courier to deliver birthday cards to his "girlfriends", that request will also be fulfilled, the report said.

"He needs to have them delivered to the mailbox because one goes to Hiiumaa and the other goes to Võhma," requested Margot, a 94-year-old Türi resident.

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Editor: Andrew Whyte

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