There’s little question that the COVID-19 pandemic has wreaked havoc on all businesses that rely on public contact, not just restaurants, but that doesn’t mean the game is over. As terrible as it is, the crisis is a short-term issue, and long-term business success requires long-term thought. While it may need specific changes to previously established plans, the present situation should not stifle overall development but rather force it to occur in a more planned manner.
It’s hard enough to reopen or open a new restaurant at any time, but the COVID-19 pandemic has made almost everything ten times more difficult. Many new eateries have postponed their openings or are undecided about whether or not to launch at all. Others are waiting for the world to reopen to make a bigger impact.
The continuing COVID-19 pandemic continues to pose many economic and logistical difficulties for restaurants. Is this to say that restaurateurs won’t be able to realize their ambitions of establishing restaurants? The good news is that the pandemic does not imply you must abandon your culinary aspirations. Your business may survive and thrive in these challenging times, provided it is innovative and well-planned.
Future hurdles and uncertainty
To say that the coronavirus pandemic has been tough for restaurant operators is an understatement. City limits may be relaxed as businesses struggle throughout the nation. Now is the time to act, and restaurants can make a difference.
Restaurants will have to deal with three significant issues.
- Retaining diners
- Keeping your staff and clients COVID-free.
- Following all regulations.
It is important to find the balance here, because you need to get customers but at the same time you don’t want to go against any regulations or endanger your employees and customers. Restaurants need to retain diners while also following the rules and protecting everyone’s health.
If you’re ready to take the plunge, here are some helpful hints.
- Go contactless
One of the first things to bear in mind is that if you open a restaurant during COVID, you must have an online ordering system so that customers may place orders from their homes.
The restaurant business is down even in areas where local shelter-in-place orders haven’t shut down in-store eating. The only choices for visitors who can’t or won’t dine in are delivery and takeaway. Many third-party delivery firms are attempting to improve conditions for restaurant operators, but now is a perfect moment to consider establishing direct delivery programs, even if it involves managers and owners delivering meals personally. Most importantly, inform consumers about new eating choices through all accessible channels.
- Get creative.
Switching to delivery and takeout without making any other adjustments may be insufficient to keep a business alive. Consider thinking beyond the box. Others have restructured their menus to concentrate on more cost-effective options, such as family-style meals rather than à la carte menu items or putting together cook-it-yourself meal kits. Non-food sales, such as gift cards and wine, have become a new emphasis for certain eateries.
- QR Code Menus
When guests sit down, the first thing you usually do is give them a menu. Customers may now view an online menu by pointing their mobile phones at the QR code on the table. This trend has taken off, and customers appear to like the change.
- Increase Disinfecting and Sanitizing Efforts
Customers want your employees to clean up after themselves. Therefore you must promote and demonstrate sanitization. Your employees should clean at set times so that your guests can observe the cleaning procedures in place at your restaurant. After visitors have left, staff members should wipe every table and chair with restaurant-grade sanitizer.
- Promote on social media
All changes should be announced whether you have to shut down or operate at a reduced capacity completely. People long for normalcy. Treat it like a holiday.
Create a range of postings for your social media strategy that:
- Let folks know when you’ll be reopening.
- Describe the adjustments that will be made to keep people safe (add a link to your website for more information)
- Show folks where they can get your most recent menu.
- Hook them with photos of your meals that look delectable.
- Indicate if they must make a reservation or follow any specific rules to enter.
- Gift Cards here and there!
Gift cards are an excellent method to generate income in advance. If you’re thinking about reopening, you may advertise gift card offers to entice customers to purchase before you do. Again, your gift card sales may be combined with a promotion to encourage customers to pre-purchase before you open, allowing you to earn some much-needed income to get back on track.
We’re moving toward brighter times.
While there is still more work to prepare the path ahead, the end is in sight, and tightening up procedures and safeguards is beneficial to the whole hospitality sector. You’ll be able to go through anything if you can get through this.