Technology comes to rescue of The
WHEN Mairead and Garry
Anderson opened the doors of their new restaurant in
Killybegs, last December, little did they know of
the unprecedented challenges that were just around
the corner for them.
“We were hugely excited to be opening The Boathouse
and it came on foot of our successful Seafood Shack
business” explains Garry.
“But then in March, like so many other small
businesses right across the country we had to close
our doors. We invested so much money in The
Boathouse, we had to try and adapt and look at how
we could continue to operate safely.
“We opened up the takeaway service and while it was
hugely popular it presented a whole new set of
challenges. People were gathering to wait on their
orders and we just could not comply with social
distancing and as a result, The Boathouse was forced
to close again and rethink its operations”.
“We reached out to a friend of ours Eugene Blaine.
Eugene is originally from Bruckless and he is a UK
based technology entrepreneur. He offered us the use
of his existing technology platform, Rhino Online
and this has been a game changer for us” says
Mairead and Garry
worked closely with Eugene to quickly develop a
website and create an online offering on Rhino
Online. Customers can now view menus online,
schedule their orders, make payments and most
importantly can choose a staggered collection time
which means there are no longer lengthy queues.
“The new app means that The Boathouse can operate
safely and easily adhere to social distancing
measures” says Mairead.
The partnership has also brought other benefits for
The Boathouse. “Since we started taking our orders
with Rhino Online, it has allowed me to take the
opportunity before service, to see what stock we
need and prepare the correct amount, minimising
waste and increasing profitability in these
difficult times,” explains Garry.
The Boathouse is now thriving, and customer loyalty
and feedback has been overwhelmingly positive.
“Customers love the new service; it is so efficient.
Our feedback has been so positive and even post
COVID-19 we will definitely continue to run a
takeaway service. Even in these challenging times,
it is great to see that new opportunities are
available”, says Mairead.
“These are difficult times for anybody in business
and we have been fortunate to be in a position to
adapt quickly using this technology solution. I
think this is a time for businesses to be working
together and assist each other in overcoming the
challenges of COVID-19 and creating innovative
solutions to ensure effective business continuity.
“Thanks to our partnership with Eugene and his team
at Rhino Online we feel like we can survive this,
and we can be here for our staff and for our
community, long after this crisis is over. Our
outlook has changed to a much more positive one.
Times like these really show the resilience of
Donegal businesses,” says a smiling Garry.