I thought it might be a good time to grab a coffee, put on a good playlist and let everyone know what we are all up to at RAW.
I still remember browsing through the social media posts, when the Chinese cranes were frantically building the hospitals, without properly comprehending the gravity of the situation and definitely not believing that in no time Emirates Airlines, schools, RAW, and life as we know it would all be closed for normal business, and it really doesn’t feel like that long ago…
Obviously, as you all know, it’s been such a fast-paced situation that has evolved at great speed. Some days we would finish strategy planning and thinking we had come up with solutions, and just as we were ready to share our new directions with our team; the news would change, and we would have to hastily adapt and reorganize ourselves. Let’s call it the time of absolute uncertainty.
We closed our espresso bar and café early on, anticipating the government directions and wanting to focus on the safety of our team. We were able to get some of our folks’ home; these were mostly the teams who had either leave coming up or had family commitments, and we felt it was safer to get them home sooner rather than later.
We set up the espresso bar as a takeaway option and to greet our customers, who were coming in to grab a coffee and a bag of beans to take home. At this stage, many of our café partners were open for takeaway only, but commercial sales were slowing down, as the majority of cafes only had the option for people to come in and pick up their drinks and food, and increasingly people were more reluctant to be out and about. Sadly, most of these café partners aren’t set up for delivery, and the delivery platforms take 30%. So, it was hardly worth while scrambling to try setting this option up, and their safest bet was for them to shut their doors.
Last week, we moved our entire business model to become an online ordering company. We have a couple of commercial customers that have remained open for delivery, but commercial supply is down to 7% of our norm.
At RAW we divided our team into “cells”. To familiarize and help with social distancing, we stopped them from using public transport and moved our admin team working on laptops, from home. It’s amazing now, we are conducting our meetings on team viewer and have access to our server, so life goes on and, in some ways, we are getting time to start working on projects we never usually had the bandwidth for.
Today our Delivery Team handled more than 100 domestic (home) deliveries and tomorrow looks about the same, which is amazing! Afin and Atiq, our Accounts Team, aka the Bean Counters, are accepting orders and preparing the invoices from home; Ann, Rohan, and Grace are fielding all the diverted incoming calls from home; Karim has stepped into the team and is like our RAW conductor; Tiffani is working on new Emirates Post solutions and stock management; while physically on the roads we have Adil, Felix, Elaya and Rajesh. While our delivery team has always been important, it has now become a crucial lifeline for RAW, it’s survival!
Alysia is managing all our communication and social media; all scheduled events and campaigns are on hold but again it’s a good time to be tidying up our website, we want our tone to be positive with more of a community focus and sharing of knowledge, so if you are looking for home brewing techniques or anything, please let us know.
The roasting department is still roasting, and we can confirm, there is plenty of fresh coffee for everyone. So, no need to place big orders in fear of a breakdown of supply. We are doing our best to “guestimate” what everyone’s requirements are and hoping to reduce the days of roasting and consolidate roasts so that we can minimize the transfers/movement for the team.
Everyone in the RAW Whanau (Family), is following very strict WHO hygiene procedures. We have set up a specific washroom, using sterilization protocol like that of an isolation hospital, with everyone in masks, gloves, and practicing social distancing for deliveries. We are encouraging everyone that can, to use online payment to avoid handling cash.
We miss seeing all your caffeinated faces and knowing if you are all doing ok. We know just as much as you do, on how long this will go on for, but we want to reassure you that as a company, we are in a strong position and look forward to seeing you all as soon as we are allowed to. We are extremely grateful for the lovely messages and for your loyalty, trust, and support.
And in these crazy times, we really hope you are some of the lucky ones with your situations at work, home, family and of course your health.
Let’s support local businesses! We will be posting information on all the cafes and restaurants that we supply, who provide delivery services, and more. Your support is so amazing and literally a lifeline to these friends and their teams.
Sending good wishes from our Whanau to yours,
Kim, Matt, and Team RAW