Jason Frasca |||

Helping Local Business During the Pandemic


There is an amazing butcher in my town. The meat is amazing. Best burgers, turkey, steaks, and chicken. His meat makes me look like a superhero when I grill. This past summer he spatchcocked a turkey for me. I was doing a trial run, smoking a turkey for Thanksgiving. It came out great but was not ready for primetime.

Spatchcocked Turkey

I’ve been going to his shop since in 2013, around the time he opened. I am far from his best customer but I am steady. I’ve gotten to know the owner over the years. Great guy. Like myself, he curses a lot. Always fun.

I’ve noticed he runs his shop analog, receiving orders via:

  • Phone
  • Pen
  • Paper

He’d be all-cash if he could.

I know what it’s like to work in an analog business. I transformed the family business from pen and paper to paperless in 2004-2005, and cloud-based between 2010-2012.

Ordering meat during the pandemic

Placing a meat order during the pandemic has become challenging for me, and worse for him. I hear the pain and struggle in my friend’s voice. He is overwhelmed with panic-stricken orders 10x the normal size.

His phone is ringing off the hook and he can’t keep pace with demand. He could not take my order last week because there were 200 orders ahead of mine.

Each order received via phone.

How I could help?

I kept thinking I need to build him a website, which I would gladly do. But I realize that is too technical for this business. I am not trying to offend anyone - this is a reality he and his team will admit.

So I built an Airtable database with a form to receive his orders. You can try it here.

This what the butcher needs to do to get started using the form:

  1. Get his URL pointing to a static site
  2. Create a link on an HTML page that says order here” which will direct to the Airtable form.
  3. Put a laptop in the butcher to see orders
  4. Click the checkbox in the database when the order is fulfilled
  5. They either
    1. Call to tell the customer the order is ready or
    2. I connect the fulfilled checkbox to an Airtable Block that will send an auto-email confirmation that their order is ready.

I can have it running for them tomorrow.

I called to share this unrequested solution and he was resistant. It sounds too hard.

I think I will drive down to them tomorrow to show how easy it is.

I have no expectations or hard feelings if they don’t use it. I do hope they will though, to ease the burden they are experiencing…

If this type of form helps you - reach out I am happy to share it.

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© 2020 Jason M. Frasca