In late autumn, the Wein- & Friesenstube got its biggest publicity boost with ‘goose to go’, which can be ordered online or by phone and delivered by car in Hamburg. Nothing like that was available during the first lockdown. The restaurant is located on the outskirts of the city, too far to drive to pick up half a duck or a bowl of game stew. At first, Arne Meyer and his wife, Katja Meyer, were stuck in Florida, where they had gone for a holiday. Easter also passed with no letup in the lockdown despite the gorgeous weather. No possible way to earn money in the hospitality industry. ‘We opened up again on the very first day after that and we pulled out all the stops. It went well, even though we couldn’t do any parties.’ As the second lockdown loomed, Meyer made a decision: ‘We have to concentrate on one thing and get it right. That gives us entirely different planning options and different margins.’ Goose was the bird of choice, and of the season: ‘We sold 1,000 geese with sides, dessert and wine. That was the most in all of Hamburg.’ Meyer uncoupled the delivery service from his own business, with 5 drivers covering the whole city. The flat fee recommended on the website ranging from €7.50 to €30, depending on the distance, was theirs to keep. ‘The drivers were quite happy. The goose to go generated a lot of publicity, a huge demand and plenty of work. ‘The first thing we did was buy up hundreds of insulated boxes in all 3 of Hamburg’s METRO stores.’
Meyer sees geese as a good bet for the future of his Wein- & Friesenstube: ‘We are giving serious thought to the idea of offering goose all year round.’ There is certainly a demand. A customer from Australia has already put in a request for her trip to Germany. For Meyer, out-of-the-box thinking along with plenty of fun, energy and curiosity about the unknown are part of the job: ‘Goose with asparagus? Why not?’
Daring to do more, not less: part 1 and part 2
Header picture: © Vitali Unrau.