Everything from thank-you meals for key workers to food deliveries to isolated friends and family can now be bought online, as gift card platform Toggle makes its service free for the duration of the coronavirus lockdown.
Toggle has already been used to set up a free pizza delivery service for NHS workers in London, while restaurants and pubs switching to takeaway operations are setting up gift cards allowing users to ‘Pay it Forward’ for meals and groceries for those needing them.
Any business can now access Toggle at usetoggle.com to quickly set up a bespoke, branded gift card webshop free of charge. Users can be up and running in around 30 minutes, making gift cards available for customers to buy online and send to recipients by email.
The specialist team which operates the system will also provide any technical support needed free of charge.
●London pizza restaurant Crust Bros has set up a gift card using Toggle called ‘NHS: Pay It Forward’. The cards, available in £10 denominations, send pizzas to health workers at locations including Guys and St Thomas’ hospitals, as well as the London Ambulance Service. Every £10 is topped up by 20% by the restaurant. More than 120 pizzas were sent in the first day and a total of 229 over the weekend
●At the Wiremill pub in East Grinstead, Surrey, operator Yummy Pubs has set up a £10 gift card which sends a meal to someone self-isolating due to the virus. Yummy Pubs director Tim Foster said: “People can nominate their family or friends, and we’re also asking the community to tell us where meals are needed – for example, we have an 89-year-old self-isolating lady living near the pub who has no family. We’re providing gastropub quality meals which our staff have volunteered to deliver – we’re making no money but we’re keeping the pub going.”
Airship CEO Dan Brookman said: “These are unprecedented times. Many people want to support businesses during the crisis, and equally many of those businesses are going all-out to support their local communities.
“We’re making Toggle free for the duration of the shutdown, however long it lasts, to help ensure that there’s a thriving hospitality sector when we come out the other side, and we’re using the #FutureFit hashtag to promote all the activity.
“We’ve already had more than 40 new businesses sign up, and there’s an impressive range of initiatives, with people not just supporting their friends and families, but key workers and the wider community. We’re also making whatever technical and marketing support is needed available to users to maximise the benefits.”
Businesses signing up in recent days include Busaba, Bear Coffee, Urban Pubs and Bars and Middletons Steak Houses.