How restaurants can survive under Covid 19 challenging scenario?

The spread of the epidemic Corona has taken a toll on various businesses and the restaurant business is not an exception to that. Once the Covid 19 started spreading to different countries, many of the nations went for a lockdown only to prevent the spread of the virus. Some of the restaurants were temporarily closed, while others go for a permanent one. There are many restaurants which run mostly on foot traffic which gets to maximum during the office hours on any working day. Many offices run on different shifts and hence there is demand of food of such restaurants starting from morning breakfast till late night dinner.

Many people do betting through online casinos from their office after working hours when they are free. They take their dinner from a local restaurant at the time of going back home. Since most of the offices are closed during lockdown, such options did not existed and hence these restaurants started losing money during the lockdown period to a great extent.

Due to ban on travelling, there has been a huge decrease in the numbers of tourists and this has also resulted in loss of business by the restaurants. Both business travellers and tourists used to give a major chunk of business to the restaurants and that number has come to almost zero. After the end of the lockdown period, many employers will do a job cut of their employees to save their organization from possible losses. In addition to that, employer will also prefer most of his employees to do work from home as that will save the cost of his office expense to a great extent. As a result of this the number of business traveller will also decrease and also the number of employees in the office areas will see a drastic fall. With such huge decrease in footfall, the restaurant business is going to get a big hit even after the end of the lockdown period.

According to a statistics, 21% of the restaurants in the United States are not open right now and out of them, 6% are closed permanently and 14% are closed temporarily. The states which has accounted for the highest numbers of restaurants getting closed is Nevada, New York, Washington D.C. and Hawaii. If you make a comparison among the rural and urban areas, it has been found that almost double the number of restaurants is open in the urban areas than in the rural areas. It clearly shows that the restaurants in the urban areas are more affected than those in the rural areas. As the country will gradually un-lockdown in phases, some of the temporary closures will turn into permanent closures.

It is going to become a very crucial phase of the restaurant owners as they will have to make their marketing plan for survival once they start operations as the economy reopens. So, industry experts are not sure which of the restaurants and which of the areas they are going to survive.

After the work from home concept is becoming popular, approximately 50% of the US workers are now working from home. So, placing the order over the phone and getting it delivered at home is the only option for the restaurants to survive in this challenging market. It will not be possible for the restaurants to survive based on footfalls that they used to get earlier.

Here also the location factor is going to play a very significant role in the survival of the restaurants. Restaurants located in the commercial area have a different state of problems. People come to the commercial area only to attend office and they do not stay in those areas. They go back to their home once the office is over and may travel a few kilometres to get back to home. It is not possible for those restaurants to take order from customers who stay 10-15 kilometres away and deliver it to their home. It will be very difficult for these restaurants to survive as they are highly dependent on office traffic and commuters.

But this concept may go well for some restaurants which are located in a residential area. People staying around the restaurant may place the order during the lunch and dinner time and get it delivered at home. It will be easier for the restaurants to do it as most of the telecommuting orders are close to their vicinity and the delivery boys can quickly deliver them and come back for the next one. Experts associated with this industry are of the view that this is going to be the future of the restaurant industry in the post Covid 19 scenario.

Noted McDonald has stated that their breakfast sales have gone down to a great extent because there are very few people coming to the office in the morning. This is a very sad phase as many restaurants are closing down when people are already facing a lay off in the economy. If this goes on continuing for the next one year, it will be very much challenging to the restaurants to survive in this Covid-19 battle.

As far as family dining in restaurants is concerned, there are many people who are eager to go to the restaurants with their family, but they want safety and cleanliness with proper sanitisation. One restaurant has placed a timer in their dinning space which goes on every 20 minutes and everyone will have to go and wash their hands properly to keep safe.

Some of the restaurants have hired a separate staff for cleaning and sanitization and customers while doing the dining will see that the person is cleaning every surface in every hour and also doing sanitization of everything. To get back consumer confidence, these activities need to be done in public so that they feel safe and confident about the restaurant. In addition to the quality of the food, cleanliness has also become an important parameter of the restaurants in order to get a steady flow of customers.