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Bite Street has got lockdown dinners in the bag

Innovative use of Square app powers socially distanced food service

Bite Street Takeaway at Northants Cricket Club, Wantage Road, Northampton. Sasha Greaves (runner for the food)

The man behind Northampton’s popular street food pop-up Bite Street NN is on a mission to help other small food and drink businesses during Lockdown 2.0.
 
Crispin Slee reinvented the way Bite Street operates within 24 hours of the new national restrictions being imposed in order to make sure the event remained compliant.
 
He changed to a new drive-in, take-out kerbside takeaway format with visitors ordering via a QR code and an online menu.
 
He said: “I now realise that this was probably the first ever drive-up, takeaway service powered by a QR code.
 
“I now also realise that this is a format that any business with a car park and kitchen can emulate and I’m happy to give my time freely to help them set it up.”
 
Bite Street uses an app called Square, which was created by billionaire tech entrepreneur Jack Dorsey who also co-founded Twitter.
 
Mr Slee said: “The are other apps but Square works really well for us and has helped us to reinvent and survive during Covid and Lockdown 2.0.
 
“Customers scan a QR code which then takes them to an online menu via which they order and pay.
 
“The order prints out in the kitchen and once it’s ready, the food gets delivered directly to their cars.
 
“It is all very safe. There’s no need to get out of the car to go into a building and removes the risk of speaking to someone face to face to order and pay.
 
“People remain in their cars, pay online and the food is passed to them through the car window in a paper bag.
 
“It is also fairly straightforward to set up and I’m happy to speak to any pub or restaurant who thinks this might be an option for them during Lockdown 2.0.”
 
Mr Slee, who also runs two food festivals in Northamptonshire, can be reached via email at crispinslee@bitestreet.co.uk. His offer is to small food and drink businesses in Northamptonshire only.
 
He believes adapting Bite Street to a drive-up service powered by a QR code is a first. He said: “I was speaking to one of the guys from Square and joked that I was claiming a world-first.
 
“He said that I could well be right. He said he had been speaking to his colleagues in the US and they were really excited about the app being used this way. He said they’d never heard of anything like it before.”
 
Bite Street NN launched in 2019 and has quickly established itself and the largest street food pop-up of its kind in Northamptonshire.
 
Events currently run every two weeks at The County Cricket Ground in Abington Avenue, Northampton, normally with tables and benches spread out in the indoor cricket arena.
 
Mr Slee first adapted the event to full table service and then to the drive-in, take-out service when Prime Minister Boris Johnson imposed a second lockdown.

Bite Street Takeaway at Northants Cricket Club, Wantage Road, Northampton.

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