Mighty Quinn’s is a fast casual barbeque with 13 locations, most of them in the New York City region. Co-Founder Micha Magid began his career on Wall Street evaluating investment opportunities across multiple industries before jumping into BBQ on a full-time basis. He oversees finance and marketing strategies for the group alongside the brand’s PR and social media teams. Micha also works with Mighty Quinn’s Architect & Design team on new store build-outs.
We asked Micha to share his perspective on the coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis in the context of restaurant operations at Mighty Quinn’s.
How is Mighty Quinn’s utilizing tech to adapt to the climate created by the current health crisis?
Mighty Quinn’s has taken several steps to ensure we stay available for our communities and make the most out of this dire situation. We are offering digital ordering for delivery and take-out at all of our operating restaurants, as well as special promotions like free sandwiches for doctors and healthcare workers.
We rely heavily on communication through our app and website, as well as through social media, to keep our customers aware of the changes we’ve implemented to help support them through this difficult time, and in turn, how they can continue to support our businesses. At Mighty Quinn’s, we want to make it clear that while customers cannot dine in, we are still there for them.
With more people eating home, we’ve also been pleased to see a boost in sales through our mail order platform partner, Goldbelly.
What operational changes has Mighty Quinn’s made in reaction to the increased focus on digital ordering methods?
The Coronavirus pandemic has resulted in harsh economic times, especially for the restaurant industry. Mighty Quinn’s Barbeque has certainly felt the pinch. Like many restaurant brands, we’ve temporarily closed a number of locations and pivoted to offering only takeout and delivery at the ones that remain open.
We have made adjustments to our menu offerings, primarily by removing products geared toward the lunchtime business crowd and bolstering inventory for larger orders to serve families at home. For example, we are currently offering discounted pricing on our Brontosaurus Ribs, which are an excellent choice for bigger groups.
Of course, we are also maintaining our hygiene and food safety standards. Those hold up regardless of what’s going on outside of our restaurants, but we are also currently following the safety protocols in response to the COVID-19 virus as recommended by the World Health Organization, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the New York Department of Health.
In compliance with current allowances by the State Liquor Authority, Mighty Quinn’s is offering beer and wine delivery at all open restaurants. We have also redistributed staff for greater capacity to fulfill delivery orders through our app and website, and because ordering has shifted to digital channels and dining rooms are closed, it has been easy to maintain safety protocols.
Why is this important? Why not throw in the towel and cease all operations, at least for the time being?
First and foremost is to help the communities we serve retain a sense of normalcy. So many restaurants have closed and we feel it’s important that people still have access to the barbeque they love. Continued access to at least some of life’s amenities can serve as a huge morale-booster to customers who otherwise feel cooped up in their homes.
Another reason for keeping certain restaurants open for business is that we want to keep our staff employed. Many, many people are hurting financially due to the Coronavirus, and at Mighty Quinn’s, we want to do what we can to help our employees mitigate such problems.
Mighty Quinn’s is a small restaurant brand, but we’re putting our best foot forward.
What does the future hold for the industry, and how will tech continue to influence the way owners and operators do business?
The impact of the pandemic brings to light a lot of the shifts we’ve been seeing in the industry for years toward convenience, loyalty and digital ordering. For those of us that make it, I believe the health crisis will have accelerated the popularity of off-premise dining across the board. It will be increasingly important to have technology in place that can support restaurant businesses through times of crisis, and as an industry, we will need to continue to adapt.