What changes can help your business overcome Coronavirus?
Covid-19 has devastated businesses everywhere, but few are suffering quite as much as restaurants. The restaurant industry is already notorious for thin margins and high turnover, but the coronavirus has put the entire industry in turmoil. Most restaurants are greatly struggling already and sadly many have already closed forever.
We don’t know exactly how things will change as we begin to open back up, but we won’t be going to back to business as usual for a while. You’ll likely need to make some serious changes to survive. We all want to get back on track, but we also need to be prepared for the uncertainty ahead. Take this time to adjust your business strategy so you can better serve customers in this changing world.
Link up with delivery services
Few restaurants have the ability to deliver on their own, but luckily there are plenty of third-party delivery options. Grubhub, Uber Eats, Seamless, and Amazon Prime just to name a few. Unfortunately, there have been complaints of some of these companies charging too high a fee to restaurants or surcharging customers during this crisis, so choose your partner wisely. Of course, if you’ve ever considered adding delivery to your in-house services, what better time than now? If you’ve been able to keep your employees on payroll (there are loans that reward it) then consider shifting some to delivery positions.
Offer quick pickup
Customers are already getting used to the delivery or grab-and-go model of the few partially open restaurants. It’s convenient and it’s safe. If delivery, either on your own or through a third-party service, is simply a non-starter, then look into curbside pickup. You likely already have the to-go packaging, so adding this extra step should be a breeze. And though simple, it will encourage more customers who are looking for peace of mind. Like with delivery, you would likely need to adjust FOH staffing to create this new position. But based on current trends, it will be well worth it.
Keep it safe and contactless
Covid-19 has put safety at the top of everyone’s mind. This may mean doubling down on safety precautions and making them very apparent to the customer. Though the risk of spreading coronavirus through food is extremely low, every restaurant should still take precautions. Consider better to-go packaging to eliminate contamination or set up sanitizing stations for customers. With pickup and delivery, develop new procedures to eliminate the direct employee-customer food handoff. And if you haven’t already, make sure you can accept payments in contactless forms. If you show that you’re taking safety seriously, customers will feel more at ease patronizing your business.
Spread it out
For restaurant owners, your seating capacity is everything. During normal times you’ll pack your dining room to capacity and turn tables as fast as possible. But these are not normal times. Your state may mandate that you retain a minimum of 6 feet between tables or perhaps you should choose to do it regardless. Life may begin to return to normal, but many customers will still want to keep a safe distance. It will feel devastating to give up so much of your restaurant’s floor space, but hopefully by adding in delivery or pickup options things will somewhat even out.
Stay on your toes
Because we are in uncharted waters, none us know what happens next. What will remain true for some time is that we all need to be ready to adjust our business strategy at a moment’s notice. So it could be reworking staff placement on the fly. It could be beefing up your online ordering and payment capabilities. It could be shifting to creating “meal boxes” or offering to-go cocktails (where legal). Or it could just be creating fun, new marketing to remind your neighborhood that you’re still around. Those who will survive this will be those most willing to change and try new things.
For the personal guidance needed to work through the new hardware and software you’ll need to move contactless, contact Holman Business Services today.