COVID-19 has brought with it the storms of change. Businesses have been drastically disrupted, as have people’s everyday lives with masks required everywhere and huge restrictions on what can and cannot be done.
Of the many businesses hit hard by this merciless pandemic onslaught, the restaurant industry is one of the most notable. It has made things completely unpredictable and whether your doors can stay open almost seems up to the whims of chance.
Still, while change and disaster are inevitable, there are things you can do to create adjustments that benefit your business and your customers. It’s not the end until you say it’s the end.
With adaptation being vital to surviving even outside the midst of a pandemic, read on to see what you can do to excite your customers and keep your restaurant running smoothly during these troubled times.
Contactless Ordering and Payments
One thing that directly ties into all the concerns around the virus spread is the idea of having contactless ordering and payments.
More likely than not, your customers will be expecting certain safety measures to be in place, the first of which should be ensuring they can pay without having to carry or spread germs around.
So make sure to get contactless ordering and payment options installed while also ensuring that your website is set up to accept online orders and payments. By doing this, you can protect both your staff and any customers that may come in.
Online Reservation Software
The next critical step to take is to make sure that reservations can be booked easily online. While this has pandemic benefits, it also is just important for convenience and modernity as people have become accustomed to doing everything with ease online.
So ensure that your customers can book a table without ever needing to pick up the phone or come by in person.
Again there’s a safety benefit here, insofar as it reduces contact. Also important is that it allows you to monitor and control traffic closely, meaning consumers will rest easy knowing you’re doing your part to maintain crowds and the like at good levels.
To set this up and take advantage of the safe distances you can set up and the staggered arrivals that will only serve to boost your safety and quality.
People are understandably afraid to have to spend more time in crowded places even if they’re craving to go out for a nice cooked meal. This fear, while not exactly a great thing, is a good thing for public health.
So if you want to target a mass audience, you need to sustain your business during this tough period. Consider making it easy to eat outside your restaurant to catch the people who wouldn’t be comfortable otherwise.
To make things even easier, you shouldn’t overlook the outside portable sink benefits. Adding to the outdoor experience, these sinks provide easy access for personnel and visitors. It’s a worthwhile investment that can take your restaurant game to the next level.
And of course, this is something that will continue to pay dividends even as things progress. Outdoor dining will undoubtedly remain popular, and getting ahead of the curve now is the perfect way to capitalize on the flattening of that same curve.
Also critical is having the ability to deliver food. Like many items on this list, it’s a matter of convenience and appeal, mixed with safety precautions.
So to get those patrons who are ordering takeout or delivery, make sure your services are available. This might mean getting on food delivery apps’ whose revenues have nearly doubled during these times.
The more options you can provide, the better you will do, and the more likely you are to succeed in what you want to accomplish.
The Best Menu Options
Perhaps the most fundamental of all the things we’ve covered is the actual food you have on display.
While not strictly a COVID-19 thing, this is one consideration you should make no matter what. You live and die by the delicious food options that your restaurant can offer, meaning this is an area you should constantly and periodically review and revise.
Incorporate feedback, try new ingredients, and even toggle the prices around. Of course, you can also just make a family-style serving of your most popular menu items and see how far that takes you.
When this all blows over, having a rethought menu will make you stand out from the crowd.
The Last Word
Your restaurant’s success and status may be drastically different this year as compared to last year. Even by the month and the week, things may change, moving from one thing to something else rapidly.
To weather this storm, you need the patience and innovation of a good entrepreneur. And if you’ve already got a restaurant running, we’re sure you have those qualities in spades.