Oven fresh overnight sensation: A guide for handling an unexpected spike in demand for contactless products

This post is part of our COVID–19 business stories series, where we share how different brands have responded to the pandemic.

Crust Club is a food pickup and delivery service located in Utah that offers meals and treats ready to heat.

Normal operations would allow customers to pick up from a store or get home delivery in surrounding areas. So while the company was already set up for contactless delivery and shipping, they’ve had to adapt to an increased demand.

We spoke with the Marketing Manager, Maddison Weber, to discuss how they are communicating with their customers and providing a sense of comfort in a time of uncertainty.

How has your company been affected by COVID-19? In what ways have you had to change your day-to-day business operations?

“We have seen an increased demand for our product, especially since we offer no contact delivery.”

Customers can order a variety of ready-to-bake savory and sweet pies, sides and desserts. The orders are shipped out and delivered straight to their doorstep in insulted packaging with ice packs. All customers have to do is throw it in the oven or keep it frozen until they are ready to eat.

“It has been challenging to adapt to a larger workload while making sure our staff stays safe, but we are excited about the ways we have been able to grow during this time.”

“Our day to day operations have changed quite a bit to allow for as few people to be on site as possible. This has meant a lot more phone and video meetings but as a team we have been able to navigate these changes well!”

How are you strategizing your brand messaging at the moment?

“Our goal is to stay honest and upfront about how we are adapting and changing. We know our customers deserve to hear how we are making changes to keep them, and our staff safe during this time. As soon as any changes are made we are making space in our brand messaging to let our customers know, even if it means pushing other brand marketing/messaging back.”

Crust Club uses their Instagram to keep their customers up-to-date with information about special sales and when certain products are back in stock.

Taking advantage of all of Instagram’s features, Crust Club makes it easy for customers to order straight through the app. Swipe up links on their Stories take users straight to the menu item where they can add it to a cart and get it sent.

They are also sharing tons of UGC, continuing to show their customers that their product is great and they are there for them in these challenging times.

Are you changing how you market your business, or selling new products or services to meet changing market needs?

“We’ve made a lot of changes to how and when we add inventory to make it as easy as possible for our customers. Before our increase in orders due to COVID-19, we would add inventory as soon as a product was completed, however now we have customers who want to order multiple things in one order. To accommodate this, we add all inventory for the day at one time specific time so our customers know what to expect.”

They also share recipes on their social media and website and offer membership for customers. A membership allows customers to pay $35/month which converts to store credit and gives members perks like free delivery, referral credits, quicker checkout and exclusive promos.

What trends are you seeing in your industry? Are there other brands you admire for what they’re posting right now?

“With most people staying home and restaurants only doing take out, having meals delivered has become a necessity for a lot of people. We’ve loved watching local companies around us adapt to the changing times and make changes to better serve their customers.”

“A brand we have especially admired during this time is @orsongygi for the way they are accommodating customer needs.” Orson Gygi provides tools, tips and solutions for home and commercial kitchens. They are now offering curbside pickup and exploring virtual cooking classes for children.

How far ahead are you planning your customer communications right now?

“Typically we like to plan 2-3 weeks in advance (if not more!) but with things changing so quickly we are working week by week for the time being.”

Where to go to find more

If you live in Utah, Colorado, and Nevada zip codes you might be eligible for delivery but if not, you can follow @crustclub and check out their yummy recipes online.


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