Embracing Change: How Marmite made the shift to exclusive pickup and delivery
We’ve been talking to business owners to learn the steps they took to shift their business model to exclusively offer pickup and delivery in light of the current pandemic.
Despite the fact their restaurant hasn’t had a customer inside since March 16th, Bruce Naftaly’s tone is upbeat while we discuss how he and his wife made the shift to providing all pickup and delivery orders. Bruce and his wife Sara together run Marmite and Spirit in the Bottle, the sister bar inside the restaurant. Sara’s bakery, Amandine, is just next door. All are located in Chophouse Row, a unique and beautiful collection of restaurants, retail, and office space on Capitol Hill.
“When we first heard that we couldn’t serve dine-in I was initially shocked and scared – for a second”, Bruce shared. “Sara had felt that this was coming and had been thinking about what we could do to keep as many people employed as possible. We all went into a ‘crisis mode’ and really, under Sara’s leadership, we all got together and retooled the restaurant for take-out and delivery.”
Marmite made simple but strategic changes that have allowed them to stay open during the outbreak.
Commit to Delivery and Takeout
Marmite’s website says “As a small business, our employees are at the heart of our little family”, which is truly demonstrated in their commitment to working together so quickly to make the change happen. In 3 days, their talented staff reconfigured the restaurant to provide take-away and delivery. Through their large window on 11th Ave they are able to greet their customers under the awning so they can pick up their orders.
Their sous chef created a comfort food inspired menu that includes hearty soups and sandwiches, a creamy mac and cheese, and salads that will leave both your stomach and soul feeling satisfied. At the heart of this change was the ease in making it transportable, as well as considerations for what their customers might want during this time.
Spread the Word
As part of the transition to all take-out and delivery, Tim Freeman, Spirit in the Bottle’s bar manager, created flyers and the team set out to let everyone in the neighborhood know about their new menu and that they would be continuing to serve them the delicious, flavorful food Marmite is known for, as well as Amandine’s coffee and delectable pastries. “That was a lot of work!” Bruce laughs as he recounts walking door to door to distribute the flyers.
The efforts paid off. While they certainly aren’t seeing the flow they did pre-COVID 19, they are getting the hang of the new system and layout and have capacity to take more orders. They also actively post on social media, especially Instagram, to keep the word out about their offerings.
“We are fortunate to have a solid core group of supporters who are helping us to stay afloat. Initially, many came out for orders and purchased gift certificates. But now the initial excitement may have faded and people are seriously staying indoors (as they should) and we have to build a solid base of new neighborhood folks. We figured that many of them would be working from home nearby and would appreciate some wholesome, flavorful, comforting, not too expensive, super yummy Marmite food.”
Bruce and team also got creative. In addition to their refined menu, Spirit in the Bottle created make-at-home cocktail kits and Marmite is selling its famous soup stock in quarts to go.
Bruce had this to say about their stock, “That’s what that giant Marmite, which is the heart of the restaurant, is for! The stock/broth is, of course, wonderful and restorative for eating on its own but is also essential for soup and sauce making and is our ‘secret’ ingredient for producing exquisite flavors of remarkable depth and complexity.”
Businesses across the nation are being affected by social distancing and getting creative with how to serve their communities. If you’re doing delivery or pickup, Glympse can help support you with our free location tools – https://info.glympse.com/deliveryandpickup
If you live in Seattle and need some nourishing comfort food, consider supporting this small business that is demonstrating what it really means to get creative when faced with adversity. They offer take-away and free delivery to the Capitol Hill and Central District.