Why does Finchlefy exist?
Look around the high street and you will observe various things.
- Empty restaurants
- Empty hair salons
- Closed down shops
- Delivery partners such as Deliveroo, just eat and Uber Eats
- The same global/national brands such as Starbucks, Costa Coffee, Cafe Nero, KFC, Sainsbury’s, Tesco etc
It is normal to see a closed down business, but what is not normal is at the rate they are closing down. It is also not normal that a prime location remains closed down for a long period of time. Whereas in the past, a prime location would almost instantly be reoccupied by a new business.
There are several reasons as to why the high street is dying across the country, more on that in another post. But for now, let’s dive in and see how we at Finchleyfy might be able to help our local independent businesses, of course with YOUR help.
Whether you own a local business, live or work in Finchley, we should all be keen to live in a vibrant and prosperous neighbourhood.
We will all benefit from a vibrant and prosperous high street.
While we may not have all the answers, we are prepared to work towards saving our highstreet.
One of the most effective ways we can all help is by thinking about our shopping and spending habits.
Let’s go through a scenario. A new restaurant pops up somewhere on the high street.
You, along with your friends and family decide to check them out. You spend an average of £20 per head. The restaurant takes £20. From that £20, the cost of the raw ingredients and the labour used to prepare the food will be taken away. i.e the Gross Profit Margin (GPM). On average a restaurant in the UK is said to have a profit margin of 0-15%. We will not delve into Gross Vs Net profit margins on this article.
Let’s take the best-case scenario and assume that the restaurant will take 15% Net profit (after all cost such as ingredient cost, labour cost, utility, wages, taxes etc are paid)
So in this case, from every £20 a dinner pays, the restaurant will take £3 as a profit. So for a party of 5 people who dinned, the restaurant will make £15.
Now, here is the twist. You received such great service and enjoyed the delicious food at this new restaurant. You decide to explore their other dishes and order online.
So you head over online and order via a delivery portal such as Deliveroo, JustEat or Uber Eats. Let’s assume your order also comes to £20.
The numbers: Delivery portals usually take 35% in commission (most consumers are shocked when they hear this) That is £20 – 35% = £13
From £13, the restaurant takes, let’s work out their profit based on the same assumption as above at 15% profit margin. 15% of £13 is £1.95
Summary: When you order direct from a restaurant, the restaurant stands to keep more of their hard-earned profits than when you order via a third party portal. In fact, in this case, we had not taken into account delivery cost which you would have to pay. So the £20 order value might actually look like £20 plus £2.50 delivery charge to you.
What if you could also order online DIRECTLY from the restaurant, and either get it delivered or collect it on your way from work?
There are a couple of issues with this scenario (there are plenty, but this blog has gone on longer than I’d planned)
Issue #1: Most restaurants are unlikely to have a website that is able to take online orders. The most they will have is a link to one of the third portals, or simply a PDF file of their menu. Calling the restaurant by phone is not ideal for obvious reasons. So, the consumer normally opts for the easy and convenient route and uses the 3rd party portals.
Issue #2: The restaurant would only be able to offer collection, as hiring a delivery person would cost them a lot of money. (At least that is what it seems at first glance) We have some ideas to address this 😉
Issue #3: The restaurant doesn’t have the marketing budget or know-how to reach new customers and keep current customers to come back again and again.
With the help of everyone and our efforts to spread the word about Finchleyfy, this will no longer be an issue. This will take time and effort.
What other challenges can you see here? Do share your thought and ideas for the benefit of our community.
This trend is repeated with almost every local business in town. A hairdresser’s profits are shared with other portals such as Treatwell who also take 35% commission. How about the shoe shop, the household goods show, a boutique
Finchleyfy: Those businesses that do have an option to order direct, we will provide a link within our website that sends locals to order directly. No middle man/woman or commission will be charged. Totally free of charge.
For those who do not have a way to order from their own website, we will recommend other resources and tools to accomplish just that.
We will do everything we can to promote local independent business among the locals. Utilise every marketing tools at our disposal to make sure every local and visitors are aware of what they can do to help us all to Finchleyfy.
So, what does it mean to Finchleyfy? To some, it is being able to volunteer their time at the local charity shop, to others, it might be choosing to have their morning caffeine fix, at a local cafe rather than the big national coffee shops.
Helping look for a missing cat (why is it just that we don’t often hear of a missing dog?). Remembering to bring your bag for life to the local greengrocers. Helping a neighbour with their shopping. Or just smiling and greeting a familiar face.
And currently, our favourite way to Finchleyfy is…..roll the drums….sharing your ideas and suggestions on how we can make a success of the Finchlyfy initiative.
When the community is well informed as to how they behave, be it with their neighbours, spending locally for leisure, or essentials.
In this scenario, you would consider ordering directly from your favourite restaurant instead of via a 3rd party.
From the GPM, they will then take away other costs
It is said that most (about 50%) restaurants do not last to see their 3rd year anniversary. Also, a restaurant has a lot of ongoing costs to consider, such as ingredients, wages, business rates etc etc.