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Newcastle tech firm to serve up lifeline takeaway app for hospitality industry

Newcastle tech firm to serve up lifeline takeaway app for hospitality industry

BoxModel Digital Media is creating two platforms through work funded by the North of Tyne Combined Authority.

A Tyneside tech firm is developing a takeaway app to help restaurants through the pandemic, following local authority funding.

Newcastle city centre based BoxModel Digital Media is creating the app, which will be compatible with Apple and Android through Google Play Store and Apple App Store. It will allow restaurant customers to order food, choose a collection time and pay without having to contact any member of staff directly, keeping to social distancing and ensuring safety.

Delivered through the Northumberland Covid Business Response Programme (NCBRP) using funding provided through the Northumberland Covid19 Capacity Fund Project, which is in turn funded by the North of Tyne Combined Authority, eligible businesses in Northumberland will receive the app that can be customised for individual brands, also allowing them to update their menus.

The app could act as a lifeline to restaurants and cafes through the pandemic, as national lockdown means businesses in Northumberland must remain closed to the public for dining indoors.

Alan Easton of BoxModel Digital Media said: “Basically because of Covid they have asked us to do two platforms. The first one is a fully functioning e-commerce website. We can actually produce this quite quickly. Within a few clicks of a button we can get people back online and selling their goods.

“The second one is a native application that’s geared towards the hospitality industry and anyone who’s been directly affected by having to close like pubs and restaurants.

“The idea behind this is that we can help get their menus, organise collections and actually get some sort of normality back to their business.”

Businesses can still offer a takeaway service, so the app would allow customers to order, select a collection time, and pay without needing to have any direct form of contact with staff members.

Deputy leader of North Tyneside Council, Cllr Bruce Pickard, said: “This is exactly the kind of forward thinking and innovative activity the Covid Capacity Fund was set up to support.

“We’re seeing every day the pressure this pandemic is putting on people’s lives and livelihoods, with our hospitality industry especially hard hit.

“I’d urge all those running hospitality businesses to apply for this app. It will protect your customers, protect your staff, and make lockdown trading that bit easier.”

NCBRP is a new service for businesses that have been adversely affected by Covid-19.

The project is funded by the North of Tyne Combined Authority and delivered by Advance Northumberland on behalf of Northumberland County Council and the Northumberland Business Hub.

It has two elements - Business Advantage which can provide businesses with 12 hours of fully funded business coaching and Digital Advantage which focuses on giving businesses Digital tools to keep them trading.

Cllr Richard Wearmouth, chair of Advance Northumberland said: “This is a great opportunity for businesses to ensure maximum safety to their staff and customers during the pandemic.

"The Northumberland hospitality industry has really taken a hit this year, this app could really help businesses to continue to work safely.”

To find out more about the Northumberland Covid Business Response Programme (NCBRP) please visit: https://northumberlandbusinessresponse.co.uk/

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