The Darebin community is rallying around their local cafes and restaurants as traffic to an online register grows rapidly. www.stillserving.com.au went live on Tuesday, March 24, promoted with only two Facebook posts and has since seen almost 1,200 visitors.
Still Serving founder Annie Hicks said “I saw a number of my friends with small businesses hustle and adapt to their changing operating environment. I also recognised a ground swell of support from the community and wanted to connect the two.”
“People want to shop local but were finding it difficult to work out who was still trading and what they could offer given they are not out and about as much as they used to be. The impact for business who rely heavily on foot traffic, is particularly high.” she said.
A lot of customers are already used to ordering online for takeaways and delivery but are likely to use a third party food order and delivery platforms to place their order. Unfortunately, although it’s convenient for the customer, the business may end up paying a significant proportion of the total order in fees.
Fairfield Café owner Amanda of Mamma Says said “As a small family owned business, we are only able to accommodate those who order directly from us as ordering platforms significantly impact our ability to make ends meet and even more so at the moment.”
“We really need people to know we are open and I am grateful for avenues like Still Serving who are here to support small businesses like us!” she said
Still Serving allows businesses to register their offer and customers to search by suburb or cuisine and then links them directly to the café, restaurant etc. to place their order. It also has an Instagram account which reposts the enticing food photos shared by their registered businesses.
“The Instagram follows are growing fast because people don’t need to follow twenty different accounts. They can follow us and stay across what everyone is cooking up.” said Annie.
Still Serving is a community initiative currently sharing businesses in the Darebin Council area where it was conceived. They hope to be supporting more business throughout Melbourne, and wherever the need exists.