The COVID-19 pandemic has been nothing short of unforgiving to many small businesses over the last year and a half but perhaps none have suffered more than Hamilton’s local restaurant industry.
Fortunately for business owner Ian Carr, that statement does not apply to his Island Hi Eatery.
Through multiple lockdowns and imposed lifestyle restrictions, the pandemic has completely turned the traditional ways of shopping local on its head, but for Ian, it presented an opportunity for change and growth.
Through the years, countless business owners have adopted the power of technology to ensure their business continues to evolve and prosper, and Ian is a shining example of why always having your finger on the pulse will produce life-changing results.
By embracing Island Hi’s move to digital, Ian has spearheaded his restaurant to the forefront of the food industry in Hamilton and created a platform where shopping local is just one click away.
“The last few years, technology has been the most useful in the restaurant business,” Ian said. “It has changed the basic restaurant concepts in terms of big chains making drastic changes in how they digitally serve customers.”
“Before the pandemic, we might’ve had 20 to 30 percent of our orders placed online,” he said. “Currently, we are doing around 70 per cent of our orders online, which just shows how technology can influence a big change in the habit of our customers when given a new avenue to shop local.”
With help from Digital Main Street, Ian has remodelled the structure of his business by creating a virtual restaurant that suits the current consumer climate and allows for an easy and convenient shopping experience.
By adopting digital tools, technologies and services which Digital Main Street provides, including free workshops and training, Ian has transformed Island Hi into a unique brand that connects the Hamilton foods community through love and appreciation for simple, wholesome comfort food.
“I found the initial contact with Digital Main Street very easy,” Ian said. “Besides having the information on the website, talking to representatives from Digital Main Street was very helpful and offered great guidance.”
“What you put in, you get back,” he said. “It was helpful to understand how you have different techniques to talk to customers digitally, on social media and other forms, and understand how that translates to your business operations.”
It has never been easier to support and shop local, and when it comes to Ian Carr and the Island Hi Eatery, you can do so by visiting them @delivery_4_all on Instagram, delivery4all.com on the web or in person at 1150 King Street East in Hamilton.