The Pay Off Podcast

Episode 9 | Restaurant Owner Adam Cheers: Helping restaurants through COVID-19

Adam Cheers is a Sydney entrepreneur and owner of Peanut Butter Jelly in Manly, and Ze Pickle in Surry Hills. When the Australian Government began to introduce limits to public gatherings and other restrictions, Adam knew he had to act quickly for the survival of his two venues in the assumption that restaurant trading restrictions would be put in place.

In this episode with Adam, we discuss how he assessed the financials of his business, how he quickly pivoted his business models and set up his own online ordering system, the delivery models he tried, and the marketing techniques he used to promote orders through his website.

If it doesn’t make dollars, then it doesn’t make sense

The first thing Adam did when he knew his venues may struggle as a result of COVID-19, was take the time to assess his financials, and how his businesses may be impacted by only offering delivery or takeaway. Adam broke his financials down into: sales / revenue, cost of goods, rent, utilities, wages and external delivery providers. Adam realised that he had control over some of these areas, but one key thing stood out particularly, and that was commissions charged by external ordering and delivery platforms.

Set yourself up to survive now, and thrive later

Adam began conducting research all around the market to find the quickest and most affordable solution to set his business up online and begin taking orders from their website. He found an easy-to-use platform that took low commission fees per order, and found that upon doing so, processes were further streamlined in his venues. Due to the online platform, Adam’s two businesses could run automatically without him having to work onsite, so he didn’t need to hire any additional staff to manage orders, and he now has the time to focus on important work for his restaurants including marketing, strategy, and menu ideas. An initial short time investment to improve processes has now ensured Adam’s business can survive now, and function even more efficiently in the future when Government restrictions begin to loosen up.

The final piece of the puzzle: driving sales

In our chat with Adam, he mentions that incentivising customers to actually use the online platform is one of the hardest parts. Customers are used to using Uber Eats and Deliveroo through habit, and ease of use. However, by trying out marketing techniques such as promotions that reward customers to order on the website, discount codes for certain communities, and tailored marketing communications for existing customers, he began to see more and more traction. Adam has now reduced his external delivery orders by over 50% through these marketing techniques.

What is often overlooked is the value of customer data that can be utilised when restaurants have their own ordering system. External providers don’t allow venues access to customer emails and information, meaning venues are missing out on being able to promote offers that will improve loyalty, and keep customers returning to them in the future.

Adam is on a mission to help as many restaurants and venues as possible to survive COVID-19 and improve their business processes and profitability for the future. Get in touch with Adam at or head to if you’d like to find out more.

If you'd like to watch the video version of this interview, head over to our content series on KeyPay's resource hub.

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