Carv’n It Up takeaway boosted business 15 per cent

By Sarah Stowe | 08 Jul 2020 View comments

Established carvery restaurant Carv’n It Up is well placed for takeaway business, and that’s proved a boon as the Albury venue traded through the national lockdown. In fact it’s been so good, the restaurant has seen a lift in revenue.

The New South Wales business had Victorian residents happily popping over the border to get their fix of tasty roast meats and veggies.

Now the border is closed under strict new regulations. The restaurant will continue to dish up its homely roast delights for the locals, only now the focus is on the New South Wales customers.

Founder and owner Graham Sessions tells Inside Franchise Business a second store in Wodonga had been closed pre-Covid-19 to allow for the development of the Albury store, and the launch of the franchise offer.

“We revamped our store and doubled it when we closed Wodonga,” he says.

Graham has optimised the potential for the Albury store, and as a result saw a 15 per cent increase in business throughout the lockdown – that’s without the added business from Wodonga customers.

“Menulog came into the area, that’s helping us. When the virus restrictions were in force, lots of cafes and hotels and clubs closed. We’re primarily takeaway, with some tables, and we were in an ideal position to take advantage of that.

“We’re in a complex with an Aldi supermarket. People were staying away except for shopping for essentials but offsetting that was Menulog.”

Graham was already costing an in-house delivery service when the delivery giant moved in to the area.

It’s proved worth the extra cost to use Menulog, he says, and not just in direct costs.

“They charge us 28 per cent but we increase menulog prices by 12 per cent so if you take the difference and put it against to the cost, it’s worth it.”

Carv’n It Up fulfils up to 50 delivery orders in a day.

“We couldn’t do it ourselves in a regional area where it’s a half-hour round trip.”

Graham says deliveries really took off for the takeaway venue. 

“We advertised our delivery service and that’s resulted in a substantial increase in business and it’s continuing to grow.”

In fact business was so good, in June Carv’n It up had its best trading week – and the store has been open 10 years.

“Our food travels well with Menulog – roast meats and veggies with gravy. We have very good reviews.”

Now though with the border closures in place, Menulog won’t be delivering to Wodonga customers.

While Graham is waiting to see just how much of a hit the temporary loss of Victorian diners will be to his business, he remains confident that the store will continue to attract customers.

“We’ve virtually boomed in tough times, we’re in the box seat,” he says.