Covid-19 has had a significant impact on the South African economy. Few businesses have been harder hit than those in the Restaurant industry. However, in spite of the major disruptions these businesses are suffering due to the continued lockdown measures put in place, the pandemic has also created the opportunity for local businesses to rise to the occasion and help their fellow South Africans. All around the country, restaurant kitchens have opened to serve a different clientele; hungry citizens in desperate need of help. Eat Out saw the opportunity to help support local restaurants in their efforts during these trying times, and have joined forces with Swipe iX to launch an interactive digital platform that will help support the initiative.
The Restaurant Relief Fund, Eat Out launched in partnership with Community Chest, on Friday 24 April, allows individuals and companies to make donations in support of restaurants who have re-opened their kitchens to create meals either for the needy in their communities, or to supply feeding schemes. The Restaurant Relief Fund has already received massive donations from key industry players such as Retail Capital, Graham Beck and Steenberg Vineyards, and New Media has also seeded the fund with R500 000.
“This crisis is uniting us like never before, showing our resilience and our humanity,” says Aileen Lamb, Managing Director of New Media, which owns Eat Out. “The restaurant industry has been hit hard by the lockdown, yet we are seeing the most extraordinary compassion coming from people in the business who are using their time and resources to feed the most vulnerable. The President’s recent announcement made it clear that this journey will be a long and slow one. As the country slowly eases out of lockdown, the restaurant industry will continue to feel this crisis for many months to come. The Eat Out Restaurant Relief Fund aims to provide financial support to them to become operational, so they can keep providing food for the growing number of hungry families across South Africa.”
Swipe iX has itself been looking into ways to give back to the community since the Covid-19 crisis erupted in South Africa and thus quickly set Eat Out’s plan of action into motion by taking on all technical aspects of the website. By pulling together every resource to Swipe iX’s disposal from the design, development and deployment of the entire website in under a week, we have endeavoured to build a platform with longevity and growth in mind. Built on the latest Laravel and AWS technologies, the website offers a scalable solution that is able to handle large numbers of users while ensuring secure, performant, and always-on availability to the community that is able to show their support.
Swipe iX co-founder and CTO, Deon Heunis remarked: “We happily gave up a few late nights to get the platform up in record time and the team pulled together remarkably to make it all happen.” He added, “Me and the other Swipe executives, as well as the greater management team, even needed to go back to our roots and all had a hand in building everything from scratch.”
“Swipe iX is more than just a cloud computing company, we care about our community and realise that ‘we’re all in this together’ is more than just a catchy phrase, it requires action and input,” says Leo Redelinghuys, Managing director of Swipe iX. She continued “The fund will hopefully mitigate a portion of the financial burden social distancing has placed on the restaurant industry and ensure that this vital part of the community can continue to thrive after the Covid-19 pandemic has passed.”
Eat Out’s Restaurant Relief Fund was launched with the sole purpose of giving back to the industry that has supported the publication for the past 21 years, giving ordinary consumers and diners a way to help South Africa. Swipe iX was proud to have contributed to this incredible initiative and thankful for the opportunity to serve our community at a time when needed most. To learn more about the fund and how you can contribute or register to become a donee, head on over to the Restaurant Relief Fund webpage. If you have any ideas which will contribute to alleviating the burden caused by the Covid-19 pandemic and need a technical partner to bring your ideas to life, get in touch!