Chrysostomos Stratos comes from a family of restaurateurs. In Dormagen, his name stands for hearty cuisine and a casual ambience. Stratos Dining has already been welcoming tourists and regulars to its terrace in the medieval district of Zons on the Rhine for 11 years. With METRO DISH, he is now working successfully in the delivery business.
This is what a summer in Stratos Dining really looks like: A group of cyclists in brightly-coloured T-shirts and shorts seek shelter from the midday heat under the bright umbrellas and awnings. They’ve come from the Rhine gate of the medieval Feste Zons fortress, which is located close by. The waiters are happy to shift a few tables together. One guest orders a beer shandy, and others pick alcohol-free wheat beer. One of them has a curry sausage with chips; the others share a large pizza or treat themselves to a portion of gyros. The people are talking and laughing. The waiters serve the meals to the table swiftly, knowing that these guests will soon be happily continuing on their bike ride. Others are regulars. They live in the area and have been eating their pizza at Stratos since they were teenagers.
In the pandemic: ‘We need to deliver’
However, with the corona pandemic, the terrace had to remain empty for a while. Virtually from one day to the next, Chrysostomos Stratos and his 18 employees were faced with the question of how to continue. One thing was immediately clear to the restaurateur: ‘We need to deliver.’ Until then, Stratos’ only experience was with take-away customers who usually tended to order food for pick-up when the weather was bad.
Without further ado, he and his staff started taking orders by phone. Yet, to survive as a delivery service, they needed an online shop quickly. ‘It was up and running a week later,’ the owner of Stratos Dining says. ‘METRO’s customer service has allowed us to enter the market cheaply and quickly with a professional online shop, so we were able to respond to the new situation.’
DISH: online shop and website from a single source
With DISH, Stratos not only launched the digital shop; he also created a contemporary and user-friendly new homepage. After a few on-site consultations, he gave his data, photos and information to a DISH employee – and in next to no time, the new site was coordinated. ‘We only have benefits: The new online presence is modern, and we didn’t have to spend a lot of money on it. What is more, I can easily enter changes to the menu, such as a new dish of the day, myself,’ says Chrysostomos Stratos. ‘The system is so easy to use, and our clients’ response to it has been great. We definitely want to stay in the delivery business and even expand it,’ Stratos says. Although the terrace of his restaurant has filled with life again, ‘the delivery business is still profitable.’ However, in future, the restaurateur will outsource the delivery service as its own business in separate premises. This will also take some of the burden off the existing restaurant, which thrives mainly on walk-in customers and regulars.
‘This expansion is a great opportunity, which we are able to seize thanks to our strong partner METRO,’ Stratos says. As far as his search for suitable premises, he has already found what he was looking for and has rented a local sushi shop. ‘The perfect location with a 2nd, large kitchen for our delivery service.’ By next season at the latest, Stratos Delivery will operate here as its own unit and continue to conveniently deliver gyros, pizza and other favourites to customers’ homes.