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Coronavirus Australia & Our New Search

The recent ‘Coronavirus Australia’ pandemic, forced many local businesses to close temporarily, or re-model the way they provide services to the public. 

This had a shock-affect on cafe’s and restaurants, particularly those that did not offer takeaway or delivery services, prior to the outbreak.

Several cafe’s and restaurants in my local town, improvised by setting up a temporary takeaway and/or food delivery service, to help the local community and also maintain some cash flow, while abiding to the tight trading restrictions that were put in place. Even our local bottle-shop was doing delivery runs. 

After speaking with several business owners in the food & drink sector, most are going to continue to offer a (perhaps simplified) takeaway or delivery service as trading conditions return to normal. While these are uncertain times and we are all hoping there is no ‘second wave’ of the virus, it certainly makes sense to be prepared.

Let’s have a look at some search data, during the virus outbreak in Australia. To the right of the chart, we can see the sharp rise in google searches for “Takeaway Food“.

Here we can see the rise in online search volume for ‘food delivery“.

The peak of the ‘Coronavirus Australia’ pandemic, occurred in March/April, which clearly reflects the leap in search interest for these terms. This is not unusual behaviour, as search activity can commonly reflect social, political, environmental and other popular trends. A good example of this, is the rise and fall of Bitcoin around 2017/18. Search interest is closely correlated to it’s price.

How can this data help local business?

Something interesting to note from the above charts, is that the search interest for these terms, has not returned to normal levels, seen before the outbreak in Australia. This could be because food and drink businesses are still promoting these services, until trading restrictions are lifted, or the recent wave of activity has sparked a renewed social interest in takeaway food and deliveries?

Either way, Phonebook has added a new search tool to help local food businesses promote these services and get noticed.

Introducing... Find Food Fast!

Our search page has a new filter, which allows the user to select various options in order to find the right local businesses.

When a Phonebook user starts their search, they have a number of popular options to help them find you quickly and easily. 

They can now skip category search and even location, by simply clicking the Takeaway and/or Delivery buttons, then select Nearest in the ordering option below. 

Our results will then show all the businesses offering Takeaway and Delivery services, within their local area. 

These results are shown on our map too, with each listing also having google directions. The user can simply switch between map and list views, at the click of a button.

Add my business to the Takeaway and Delivery list?

It’s super-easy to do. If you have not created a business listing yet, simply check the Takeaway and/or Delivery option on the application form, when creating the listing. Fill out all the fields, as normal, then hit the submit button on the bottom of the form.

If you have already created a listing, just log into your account and select the “My Listings” tab. Click the “Edit” button on that business listing. Scroll down the form until you see the Takeaway and Delivery options and check those boxes. Hit the Submit button at the bottom of the form and we will update your listing. Done!

Remove my business from the Takeaway and Delivery list?

If you are no longer offering these services, just log into your account and select the My Listings tab. Click the Edit button on that business listing. Scroll down the form until you see the Takeaway and Delivery options and simply uncheck them. Hit the Submit button at the bottom of the form and we will update your listing. Done!

Offering a deal on takeaways or deliveries?

We have also added the food finder to the Phonebook Deals filter. Now you can create a special deal, like a “Free garlic bread with two pizzas“, or “10% off your meal“, etc.

Phonebook users can find local deals on takeaway food, just as easily. These deals can be linked to your business listing and will also appear in the deals tab on your business page. 

Our Essential and Premium business plans also include a free corresponding deals plan. View our pricing.

Other special additions to our service

We have also added a polite notice to the top of your work hours list;

“Due to the Covid 19 social restrictions, our operating hours may have temporarily changed. Please contact us to confirm availability. Thanks”

This will be removed once all restrictions have been lifted, saving you any trouble. However, you can also add a notice in your listing description, with special instructions for your customers. These can be edited out later.

Coronavirus Australia, to wrap up

We wanted to offer some assistance to local businesses doing it tough under the circumstances, so for any new business plan, you’ll get 12 months free ! (Valid for the first 50 businesses, 1 per customer, no lock in contract).

If you have any questions or would like to offer a suggestion that would help your local community, please leave a comment below, or get in touch with us here. We will be happy to help where we can.

Take care and stay safe, from all the Phonebook team.

First 50 customers: Get 12 MONTHS FREE on any new business plan!



About the author:

Mike is a content writer and marketing consultant for phonebook at St Marys, NSW.

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