In the olden normal times, up to 1/3 of us left Valentine’s Day to the last minute, because nothing says ‘I love you’ more than a panic buy, right? Old habits die hard and we’re not expecting this behaviour to change, except this year, our gifts and meals have to be delivered, last minute, to our doors. 

With hospitality hit hard by COVID-19 (big love to any businesses struggling at the moment) we wanted to find out how lockdown is likely to impact the industry on Valentine’s Day. So we called up Claire at East London’s BBQ restaurant SMOKESTAK – a veteran deliverer of over 15,000 meal boxes since lockdown began – to see what she was expecting this weekend, and any advice she might have. 


How many?

Claire is predicting Valentine’s Day is going to be busier than ever for them this year (up 2,500 on xmas). They’ve had just under 3,000 preorders, and they are expecting a further 1,000 boxes that Claire reckons will be last minute orders.

Here are her 3 pieces of advice on making sure you ace last minute delivery planning…


Use preorders to plan ahead

SMOKESTAK’s Valentine’s Day Meal Kits are currently available on preorder only. “We’re starting with one delivery date, with plans to release more for the last-minute buyers. We’re built as a restaurant, not a packing factory, so using preorders to plan ahead is essential to spreading the load”, Claire said.


Rally the resources

They’ve also arranged a second packing site with 30 packers on hold. “Packing hundreds of boxes takes a lot more time than you think and is quite a mental challenge. So we’ve arranged shorter shifts for our packers so they feel refreshed and make fewer mistakes” she said.


Prep for a last minute option for those panic lovers

“Make sure you find a reliable same-day courier that can handle food and last minute demand”, Claire said. If you’re putting in all that effort in preparation, you’ll want to find a delivery service that has a mutual respect for your product and brand.

This is where we come in. We’d recommend giving your delivery providers a heads up with some rough estimates for last-minute orders so they can get the right resources locked in for you. We’ve found it helpful getting these figures from the guys at SMOKESTAK.

If you want a chat about last minute delivery support, drop an email (our Sales Manager, a generally all-round nice bloke). Or, hit us up on our Live Chat and we’ll be happy to help.