How Restaurants Fighting to Stay Alive in COVID-19
Managing a restaurant business and maintaining a prolific revenue out of it is quite a demanding task. The entire restaurant industry is made up of 70% of independent owners and operators, with an average restaurant annual revenue falling somewhere around $1 million and 4-5% operating profit. Not to mention, the need to maintain brand reputation, food quality, customer service, and ambience is a must for any restaurant to thrive. Add to that one of the worst pandemic the world has ever seen and the task of managing a restaurant becomes tenfold more challenging.
Unlike some other sectors where businessmen and entrepreneurs receive government aid in the times of an emergency, restaurant business owners have to address such concerns themselves while keeping the business afloat and the customers connected.
The first priority for any restaurant owner in times like these has to be the safety of their staff and their customers. Nevertheless, putting appropriate safety measures in place is not enough. You also need to be able to get proactive and inventive in order to keep your restaurant up and running, especially in the current scenario of low to none dine-in business.
In this article, we will share a few tips to help you fight the pandemic and keep your restaurant business vigilant. Let’s take a look:
Take Restaurant Business Online
If you have not brought your business online already, the covid situation has probably come as a sign of times to you. Whether your restaurant premises are closed down or partially operational, with online delivery you will be able to reach all of your customers and that too in a more convenient manner. Set up an online food ordering system and delivery on your website or build an app for it and let your customers know that you are taking orders online and making home deliveries.
Make sure to practice hygienic food preparation processes and let your customers know that your food is 100% safe. If the pandemic has taken a toll on your staff or is keeping your restaurant from working at its full potential, you can also revamp the menu and sell only the best selling items. Avoid taking orders for items that customers do not order regularly and focus on the ones that are customer favorites.
Most importantly, inform your customers that you are up and running, can take orders online and make home deliveries. Moreover, you will also have to tell your customers about the safety measures you are taking and how every order is helping you keep the restaurant afloat.
Make Restaurant a Safe Spot for Eating
The first and foremost thing to do in your fight against the Coronavirus is to keep your restaurant as clean as possible. All the governments around the world have issued various safety measures that restaurants need to follow in order to remain open. Make sure you are following those safety guides.
Moreover, as additional measures, keep cleaning the surfaces that are most likely to come in contact with customers, staff, delivery persons, or other people. Provide your team with anti-bacterial gloves, masks, and pocket sanitizers. However, don’t just keep your restaurant clean, communicate the cleanliness of your restaurant to your customers as well.
Leave a hint of disinfectant in the air, make it a habit to clean the tables and chairs every time a customer leaves, put up signage informing customers about your practices of safekeeping and sanitizing.
If you are not able to keep up with the safety measures, however, consider closing down the premises and continue delivering online.
Equip Drivers With Proper Information
The delivery executives are an extension of your restaurant, which means you are responsible for their safety and protection from the virus. Keep your delivery executives well-informed on the pandemic and its spread. Outline delivery instructions every time a customer places an online order so the executives have the information in their mind all the time.
Contact-less delivery is the new norm in the online delivery system. Get your delivery executives informed on how they should go on about delivering the orders without coming in contact with the customers. If possible, do a workshop on all the measures that delivery executives should take while delivering the order.
Again, you will have to highlight the safety measures you have your delivery executives taking through your social media platforms or your website. The key is to let the customers know of whatever steps you are taking to keep the virus at bay and deliver safe and hygienic food.
If you are doing an in-house delivery system, equip your executives with masks, gloves, and hand sanitizers among other essentials.
Focus on Your Social Audience
Since the pandemic has most people working from home, not only is an online ordering system necessary for restaurants but so is an interactive social media platform. Moreover, with the business being down than usual, you also get some extra time to invest in your restaurant’s social media platforms and expand its reach.
Use you social media wisely to let your customers know about how you are taking essential steps to ensure safe food delivery as well as to connect and interact with more customers. Make it a goal to reach a certain number of followers on your socials. Use high-quality photos, proper hashtags, interesting captions, and interactive posts to grow the reach of your socials.
Once you have reached a certain number of followers, you can use your social media to promote items, inform on the measures you are taking to ward off coronavirus, let your customers know that you care about their health, and engage with customers to take their suggestions and feedback. A well-maintained social media handle will help your restaurant to rise among the peers as a more viable and safer option for eating out or ordering in.