First Aid At Opening

First Aid At Opening

When the smoke starts to rise around the Corona measures, it is time as a supplier to absorb the damage that the catering industry has suffered. For example, to what extent will my customers be able to open again? Will they make it financially? A large part of the market is expected to be hit, causing major shifts. Locations will close, reopen or restart. In short, as a supplier it is important to respond well to help existing and new customers with the opening.

It is expected that not everything will be back to normal in one go and the Corona measures will be gradually phased out. It is not inconceivable that tables have to be spread further apart in restaurants and tables are also temporarily placed in pubs. What this means for sales and turnover must all start to show. However, creative solutions can contribute to an increase in turnover. Opening hours may be extended further and guests can occupy a table for up to an hour.

It is clear that as a supplier you can think along with starting up and optimally supporting customers. Various manufacturers have taken the first steps and made preparations to help as many entrepreneurs as possible as quickly as possible. Datlinq supports this in the data field with the following 5 initiatives:

1. Which companies are still active?

By means of a wide mix of sources, we keep track of whether companies are reopening or are they closing permanently. On the one hand, we keep an eye on whether activities will be developed again when reopened. This is possible, for example, because reviews and messages appear on social media again. In addition, the websites of catering locations are monitored. There is control over changes such as new menus or reactivation of the reservation system. It is expected that a lot will be reserved especially in the beginning.


On the other hand, we keep an eye on reports of closure. Obviously, official sources are used for this. However, experience shows that the Chamber of Commerce or KBO cannot publish this information directly. Reports from the entrepreneurs themselves via social media and websites are more up-to-date and more reliable. A bankruptcy can actually be a restart: it then seems as if the location has been closed, but in reality it has only been cleared of debts and obligations. By using a combination of Chamber of Commerce / KBO and online sources, we try to give our customers the most up-to-date and accurate picture of real closings and restarters.

2. Active collection of opt-in data

As soon as the catering industry opens again, it is impossible to physically visit all entrepreneurs in a short time. No matter how good the intentions are; they are also not expected to be waiting for a representative to visit during these very busy times. It is of great importance to manufacturers that as much opt-in data as possible is now collected. This gives suppliers the opportunity to make digital, targeted offers during the reopening. As a manufacturer, realize that in times of change new choices are made regarding products and suppliers.


More than 20 manufacturers have already started our Let’s stay in touch initiative, which collects opt-ins immediately. It also gives the entrepreneur the opportunity to submit applications if they are not previously familiar with these producers. This creates a new balance between initial activities and digital follow-up. This makes the reach and costs of contact moments much more efficient.

3. What does the consumer do?

Over the past 3 years, consumer spending has been monitored every quarter by means of a representative panel. As of 2020, we are pleased that this panel is part of our insights portfolio. This allows comparisons to be made between pre-crisis, during-crisis and how recovery will take place after the crisis. During the lockdown period, we keep a close eye on whether consumers actually start using Takeaway or other home delivery initiatives. We also see a trend in spending on online supermarkets and regular purchases at retail. Manufacturers can follow the recovery to see how consumers will gradually find their way back to the out-of-home channel. By linking to our location database, we can better help manufacturers make the right choices. For example, it is possible that catering with a terrace will show the first recovery because the consumer likes to be outside. A selection of businesses with large terraces can then support both marketing and sales activities.

4. Artificial Intelligence as an aid

If choices have to be made, it is now. Which entrepreneurs can we help in the short term and which in the long term? The breakthrough of AI will be final after this crisis in order to realize the most effective use of the sales and marketing capacity. Our Outlet recommender helps manufacturers to make the perfect match between their specific product and the ideal market. The model that Datlinq has built for this ensures that after a number of cycles the perfect match is made so that every contact has a higher conversion. Like Spotify, the system provides recommendations for locations that suit you best.

In addition, AI is used to support Marketing and Sales of manufacturers through targeted advice to entrepreneurs. For example, by analyzing review data, it can be determined whether an entrepreneur needs support in the quality of the product, the service, price setting or hygiene. The trend of this development also determines in many cases whether an entrepreneur remains successful in the long term. For example, you know at an early stage whether there is a threat of bankruptcy of a customer.

5. Virtual Assistant

After this crisis, the world is expected to be ready for a development that Datlinq has been working on for some time. It can be compared to a virtual assistant. This development makes it unnecessary for the representative to be physically present for simple tasks. Think for example of a shelf measurement that can be carried out by an employee of the entrepreneur with an online form or the placement of promotional material on the terrace. Giving online training for the perfect serve, for example, will no longer feel strange after the corona crisis. This creates opportunities for small and large manufacturers to get started interactively. Salesmapp now offers a mail option for this, allowing sales to invite very specific groups of customers and / or prospects.


This crisis is expected to cause a definitive change in the marketing of the Foodservice. Data-driven sales and marketing really seems to be making a breakthrough. Targeted solutions for entrepreneurs with a specific profile is the minimum that needs to be added to each manufacturer’s route-to-market!

Datlinq can assist suppliers in this and supports the development of a well-considered strategy to work data-oriented. Contact us at for more information!

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