With decades of experience in the restaurant business, Hamilton’s Ian Carr is no stranger to the ups and downs of a highly competitive industry with lean margins.
In the midst of the pandemic, Ian launched a new business built on the increasingly popular “Ghost Kitchen” concept in which a single kitchen cooks for different restaurants. Orders are received and prepared by a commercial kitchen facility using online ordering and delivery apps. Customers can also come in to the store to order and pick up their food.
As an “older” restaurateur, Ian was quite familiar with traditional marketing and advertising, but gaining attention in a digital world required a whole new set of skills, such as mastery of social media. He turned to the expert guidance of his local Digital Main Street (DMS) Digital Service Squad, led by the City of Hamilton, and also qualified for one of DMS’s $2,500 Digital Transformation Grants.
This combination of education and funding helped Ian over the next year to shorten his digital learning curve. Today, he operates two different brands under his parent company, Delivery 4 All – Island Hi Eatery, with its island-inspired comfort food, and Golden Tenders, which is all about chicken.
“I knew my business plan well, and DMS helped me translate it for the digital world and the viewpoint of the digital customer,” Ian said. “The key has been creating that digital stream through which we can touch more people. We are building awareness in the local market through existing third-party delivery apps as we grow our own, more profitable, online ordering platform.”