The restaurant industry suffered a severe blow due to the pandemic. Bloomberg reported that 90,000 restaurants were closed down in the United States since the pandemic started. This amounted to $290 billion in estimated losses.
Fortunately, public dining has been allowed in most states now. Many restaurants are operating at full capacity. Are you ready to open up yours again, too? Can you confidently say that you can operate at 100% capacity?
In this article, you’ll get to learn what you can do to freshen up your restaurant and make it ready for business again. As you do, you’ll be able to regain your old customer base while earning new ones.
Focus on Health and Safety of Your Staff and Customers
According to Bloomberg, there were 1.5 million restaurant workers who lost their job because of the pandemic. You can help some of them get back to work by focusing on their health and safety.
Start by improving your cleaning and sanitizing procedures. You may have to train your staff to do this. Check out CDC’s and OSHA’s proper guidelines on how to clean surfaces against the Covid-19 virus. You’ll also need new cleaning supplies that adhere to industry standards.
But, don’t let your efforts go to waste. Customers are equally eager to see that you’re highly concerned about their health and safety.
Provide signage that informs your customers of how you’re keeping them safe from the virus. Get a seal from an authority in the health and restaurant industries. It’s the same as passing health inspections, but with emphasis on combating Covid-19.
Freshen Up Your Outdoor Dining Space
Improve your outdoor dining space. The federal government has allowed al fresco dining early on. City leaders, though, had the power to decide whether to allow it or not. Still, most customers prefer al fresco dining since WHO declared Covid-19 airborne in May this year.
To comply with the demand, you can provide well-spaced tables and chairs while maintaining comfort. Use lounge chairs whenever possible. You can also install communal seating options with acrylic divisions. If your budget still allows it, try bubble tables or tents that have become trendy in New York.
Elsewhere in the US, restaurants are racking up their outdoor arrangements from makeshift sheds to elaborate patios. If you’re out in the countryside, put up picnic tables or spread dining mats on your restaurant lawn. You can invest in a high-quality electric zero-turn mower to achieve a manicured lawn for your restaurant’s outdoor dining experience. They are easier to use compared to manual lawnmowers.
Invest in Technology
Speaking of investing, it’s now the best time to use technology to adapt to the current pandemic situation. Invest in computer systems and software that will help your business thrive in the current demand for off-premises services.
Technology will help you face the logistical challenges required by online ordering, delivery, and contact-less pickup. It will also help you reach a wider customer base considering nearly everyone today has their own smartphone. Try out some web services or online system solutions that will optimize your restaurant’s core operations and enhance customer experience at the same time.
Offer Off-Premises Options
The Delivery and Takeout Consumer Trend Report 2020 revealed that before the pandemic, only 70% of orders are off-premises. Today, almost all restaurant orders today are eaten off-site. The pandemic has caused a rise in dining off-site.
Off-site means that customers are still able to eat what’s on your menu. They are not just physically present in your restaurant. Simply put, you are providing off-premises options to your customers. If you’re not, then you should.
There are many benefits to offering off-premises options. The shift from on-site to off-site dining helps limit being exposed to the virus. You and your staff don’t have to face your customers.
Off-site dining has opened up many off-premises options including contact-less take-out, online ordering, contact-less pickup, and delivery. Take advantage of the demand. Try offering these options. You can get the service of a third-party delivery provider to do this for you. This way, you don’t have to hire delivery workers.
According to Forbes magazine, the restaurant industry will thrive after the pandemic. It will adapt just like it has done since this crisis has started. Even if there are many restaurants that will continue to close, there will still be others that will open.
For now, however, Forbes insisted that the restaurant industry will not survive the financial losses that it has incurred in the past year. This is not a reason for you to lose hope. Many people still love to eat on-site. These tips will help you serve your customers better and get back on your feet. The question is, which one to focus on? The answer is a no-brainer. You have to adopt each one. You’ll get a better chance at letting your business face the pandemic.