Around the country, restaurant owners are handling the ups and downs of keeping their business open while in a pandemic. Some are open with outdoor seating options, some are allowed minimal indoor seating, and others are sticking with takeout only. Whatever your level of openness is right now, we have a few tips for you to keep in mind that will help you prepare:
- Embrace takeout and delivery.
Offering customers takeout and delivery should be a must-have for your restaurant. While it can be a difficult transition if you haven’t offered it before, doing so will provide you and your customer many benefits. To streamline the expense related to packaging and fees, consider offering large meals suitable for a family. Not only will this be suitable for group orders, but it will also work well even for single individuals who are ordering food because this gives them a meal they can stretch over a few days. Be prepared to continue offer takeout and delivery once you are partially or fully open.
- Boost your online presence.
If you haven’t already done so, now is the time to develop your online presence. Start by creating an e-newsletter for your customers. Write about updates for your restaurant, recipes inspired by menu items, feature your employees, and share content related to your restaurant theme. You can also deliver out updates as well, such as encouraging customers to buy gift cards, host giveaways, and so much more. Develop social media and select one that is right for your business, such as Instagram and Facebook. Now is the time to develop this presence before you get busy all over again.
- Keep an eye out for unique opportunities.
While things are restricted, and there continue to be risks out there, use this time to pivot your business. While things are slow, take a close look at what you have to offer. Examine menu options and revamp your selections. Remove menu items that are not proving successful and introduce new dishes that meet your customers’ current needs. Many restaurants are even taking a unique approach by offering virtual cooking classes for their customers or offering their restaurant for private events. So, don’t be afraid to get creative and try something new.
- Streamline as much as you can.
Speed and efficiency in business will be among the most important qualities as we begin to open things up around the country. Now is when you want to improve your onboarding processes and update any training guides. If you are considering opening to new customers soon, make sure you have clear guidelines about where customers can be seated, how they can stay six feet apart, and provide additional resources such as hand sanitizers, masks, etc.
Remember, this pandemic will not last forever. However, it’s important to prepare and be open to change. That’s the way to be successful in this time. Whether you are considering buying or selling your restaurant, contact us at Emerald Coast Restaurant Brokers and Consultants.