When you think about having a quick and convenient meal, an airline dish doesn’t usually spring to mind.
But surprisingly, a company that’s had to turn to selling to customers directly in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic sold almost 30,000 meals in three weeks.
Snapfresh had no choice but to pivot their business after experiencing a 90 per cent reduction in revenue because of the dramatic impact COVID-19 has had on the airline industry.
The Gold Coast-based company supplied to most of Australia’s airline market and did all of Qantas’s international and domestic work.
Because the company is owned by a sovereign entity, its employees were ineligible for JobKeeper.
The 4000-strong company was forced to let go of about 1000 staff, stood down a further 2500 and the remaining 500 have suffered shorter hours and reduced pay.
Snapfresh chief executive Hiranjan Aloysius said the company had to find a way to keep the business that had previously generated $800 million in revenue, afloat.
“The honest truth is … it was a factor of desperation and seizing an opportunity previously we thought wasn’t significant,” he said.
“We needed cash so this was the logical way to do it. It was almost like starting all over again.
“We didn’t really have a marketing budget because all non-essential costs were locked down.”
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Snapfresh has started selling direct to customers in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.Source:Getty Images
Mr Aloysius said because delivery was expensive and they were only selling their meals for $4, management had to help pack meals and deliver them initially.
“It’s had very good take up,” he said.
“We started with what we had. We thought, look, people are doing it pretty though, lets do it at cost level.
“Gradually it’s building up momentum.”
Mr Aloysius said he believed people were interested in the meals because they missed travelling and wanted a cheaper price point but still at good quality.
“People were a bit nostalgic they couldn’t travel,” he said.
“They come in the little containers you’re used to if you’re travelling regularly or going on holidays.
“People have mixed views on airline food. Some people say it’s cheap and nasty and other people really love it.
“The idea is for us is not to break any stigma but show there’s a great value meal that can compete with convenience and the higher priced meals you get in supermarkets. It’s really good quality for the price point.”
Mr Aloysius said because the meals had been mostly designed for airlines they were working on a new range.
“They’re designed by highly skilled chefs so they’re not the kind of meal you’d expect for four bucks,” he said.
“It’s just about getting the word out there because it’s not a known brand.”
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