COVID-19 has changed the way that many businesses need to be run. Many people are working from home to protect themselves and their families, plus, stores that are still open are enforcing stricter cleaning guidelines.
Restaurants have been able to stay open under certain conditions. If you are running a restaurant, you have had to implement many of these changes. But, how do you ensure your business’s survival with most people staying at home?
These are the 5 survival tactics for running a restaurant during COVID-19. Following these tips will help your customers and employees safe.
1. Offer Online Ordering
If your restaurant has yet to offer online ordering, you are going to want to get that set up first. During the coronavirus pandemic, many people prefer to order take out or delivery over going to a restaurant to eat.
If you do not have online ordering, you are going to miss out on a lot of potential customers. While people do prefer ordering and picking up their food, not everyone wants to call in. Some customers might even choose not to eat from a restaurant that does not have an option to order online.
So, if you set up an online menu, you can help ensure your restaurant’s survival. All restaurant owners should use this method- it is simple to set up and keeps customers interested in ordering your food.
Once you start allowing customers to order over the internet, you will see your sales start to grow again.
2. Try Delivering
On that note, does your restaurant have delivery options? With so many people choosing to stay at home, restaurants that deliver locally are more likely to survive COVID-19. If you are just starting to explore delivering your food, you do not need to deliver to a wide area- near your store should be good enough.
While having your own delivery drivers would be ideal, not every restaurant can do that. If you can not hire your drivers then you could always allow delivery apps, such as Door Dash or Uber Eats, to bring the food to your customers. You would be surprised at how many people use these apps and your restaurant will surely see some growth.
Partnering with a delivery app is simple. All you need to do is visit their webpage and the company makes it pretty obvious what to do from there. Soon, you could be delivering food to an audience you normally could not reach.
3. Follow Cleaning Guidelines
This might seem obvious, but it is important. Following all cleaning guidelines for your state and local area is critical to keeping your restaurant running during COVID-19. If you fail to do so, officials might have you close the store until further notice.
The guidelines are different across the country, but most states are requiring that their employees wear masks and frequently wash their hands. As restaurant management, you need to be sure that everyone who works for you is doing this.
You also want to be sure that they are keeping up with the additional tasks. If your restaurant is allowed to have indoor seating open, then it is likely that customers are spaced out to every other table and more thorough cleaning is required after they leave.
Always encourage and praise an employee for handling the extra cleaning routines. They are working hard to ensure the customers’ and the other workers’ safety when they do so. Tackling additional work on top of your normal duties can be frustrating, a little bit of encouragement from restaurant management can keep motivation up.
4. Have Single-Use Items
This is another way to ensure that you stay open during COVID-19. While spending money on plastic forks or throw away menus may seem like an unnecessary expense, doing so will greatly increase your restaurant’s chances of survival.
Many people that are running restaurants have had to make this switch to single-use items. It helps ensure the safety of customers, since it is guaranteed that they are the only ones who have touched their silverware after they open the package they come in.
Remember, if someone were to become infected with COVID-19 at your restaurant, you would need to shut down for a time to allow for deep cleaning of the premises- something that might harm your survival chances later.
5. Show Customers You Care About Their Health
If customers see that you are doing your best to ensure their health is safe, they will be more likely to dine with you in the future. If they see that your restaurant is only doing the bare minimum or not trying to keep up with new COVID-19 regulations, they may feel uncomfortable and choose to eat somewhere else.
They will see your efforts when they notice more frequent cleaning happening around them. You should also post reminders around your building, this also shows them that you are trying to keep them safe and will help them remember the basic health guidelines.
For example, posters in the bathrooms reminding everyone to wash their hands or reminders in the lobby about wearing a mask. Little things like that will go a long way in earning a customer’s respect.
Plus, you will want to indicate where hand cleaning stations are. Signs that lead to the bathroom or point out free hand-sanitizer is also a great idea. The more ways that you offer your customers to keep themselves clean, the safer they will feel in your restaurant- and they will be much more likely to come back.
So, those were the 5 biggest survival tactics for running a restaurant during COVID-19. If you branch out your audience with online ordering and delivery options, then you will be sure to see some growth that could help stabilize your numbers.
Plus, you want to be sure that you are following all health guidelines so that you can stay open. Your customers will appreciate this and want to come back later.
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