A FORTH VALLEY restaurant has expanded its offering online during Covid-19 with the launch of a cookery school and takeaway service.

The Inn at Kippen was taken over by partners Paul Smith and Laura Carey in November 2019, but had only a few months at the helm before the pandemic broke out.

After lockdown the duo launched an online cookery school via Facebook Live and they delivered an average of 65 packs a week to customers, with thousands of people watching the demonstration online where Paul showed viewers how to cook and plate a restaurant-quality meal.

Alongside this, they also introduced a takeaway service called Inn the Hoose – a five-course tasting menu promoted through Facebook.

It was through this offering that Paul and Laura were able to keep the restaurant going and have thanked Business Gateway who has helped kickstart their digital marketing strategy before Covid-19 struck.

They were able to access 1:1 support through DigitalBoost and were better equipped to deal with the crisis that soon came.

Paul Smith, head chef and owner at Inn at Kippen, said: "When lockdown was introduced, we knew we had to quickly find a way to utilise online channels to reach customers to survive.

"Fortunately, we had already worked on our digital strategy, with help from Business Gateway and the DigitalBoost programme, and this meant we were in a strong position and confident in our ability to get the most out of our online platforms.

"We are incredibly thankful...without them, I am not sure how we would have approached lockdown.

"While the new restrictions have posed a challenge – as our business isn't currently eligible for funding under the updated guidance – we remain focused on identifying ways we can adapt to ensure the survival of our business over the winter."

For more information about Business Gateway or DigitalBoost, please visit www.bgateway.com