Local restaurant group delivers more than 25,000 orders

Living Magazines Andrei Lussmann

A boutique restaurant group in Hertfordshire has delivered 25,400 items of food and drink since lockdown began 10 weeks ago.

Lussmanns Sustainable Fish and Grill, which has a restaurant in Tring, launched its ‘Food To Go’ service 10 weeks ago to help support the local community through the lockdown after turning one of its six restaurants into a ‘dark kitchen’, producing boxes of food for local delivery that include organic ready-to-cook meals and fruit and veg boxes items.

And there has been such a demand for the service that Lussmanns has been delivering on average 3,000 units a week across Hertfordshire, with 25,400 items sold from ‘ready-to-cook’ chilled signatures from the restaurant menu, wines and beers, fresh fruit and veg boxes alongside essential pantry items such as organic coffee, farmhouse cheese and artisan breads that are normally used in the restaurants.

The launch of the ‘Food to Go’ initiative made it on to the BBC News website recently for the innovative way that the restaurant chain adapted its business to survive the covid-19 emergency.

The restaurant group caught the attention of the BBC for its swift, community-minded reaction to the pandemic.

Founder and MD Andrei Lussmann told the BBC that while he knew he could no longer operate his restaurants, he wanted to continue to support the local community with a food ‘To Go’ delivery service.

‘It became very clear that we should close sooner rather than later,’ he says. ‘But because we have a slightly older generation that eat with us, we thought we should do very good food that can be delivered to the door,’ he said.

After 30 years of running a restaurant company, Lussmann had to turn the business into an e-commerce site within 30 hours, learning all about delivery, packages and delivery in a very short space of time.

‘We are very grateful that the response has been phenomenal, and that it continues to grow each week.’ Andrei continues. ‘The demand has been so great that we are now looking into mid-week takeaways of burger and beer too.’

‘We are still in a precarious position, as it doesn’t come near to the turnover we need to keep the restaurants afloat, but we are trying to provide a top quality service during this period, that also enables us to keep a light on, so to speak, support our suppliers, keep members of our staff team productively employed and help our communities as well as ensuring we have a restaurant business to come back to when we are on the other side of this.’

Lussmanns ‘Food to Go’ service has new dishes introduced each week including Lussmanns classics such as Lussmanns House Fishcake, free-range Tuscan Chicken and Highland Beef Bourguignon alongside scrumptious puddings such as Apple and Berry Crumble and Single Origin Chocolate Brownie.

The online shop opens each Sunday until Thursday for orders to be processed. Orders can then be collected from the Tring restaurant on on the following Saturday between 9am and 1pm. Alternatively, the orders can be delivered.

New additions for this week include:

  • Lussmanns is offering free coffee or tea to customers when they pick up their orders.
  • Cream teas are now available to order.
  • The restaurant is also extending its collection hours at Hitchin from 9am-1pm.
  • Barbecue favourites are available to order from this week, including organic mutton, kofta, and beef burgers, free-range chicken skewers, veggie skewers, tuna and salmon teriyaki skewers.