Running and managing a restaurant is tough at the best of times. Now, especially since the COVID-19 pandemic has swept through the world, restaurant owners have to be even more aware of the health of their business.
Globally, the restaurant industry has seen a severe downturn in profits and while many have been forced to shut their doors for good, others have had to pivot their operations to cope with the new restrictions and lifestyle.
So, what can you do to look after your restaurant business? We took a look at the ways that restaurant owners are making sure that their business survives this challenging time.
Take Out The Right Insurance
It may be a grudge purchase, but insurance is certainly something that your business just should not go without. Insurance will protect your business against anything going wrong in your restaurant, like food spoiling, equipment failing, staff or customers getting injured.
If any of these take place in your restaurant, you could face losing a lot more revenue than the monthly cost of your policy. The trick with insurance is to shop around and get the right policy for you.
You can lower your restaurant insurance cost by finding the right insurer and tailoring a policy for you. Many policies these days allow you to choose what is included in the coverage, so if there are some aspects of insurance policies that do not apply to you, you do not need to pay for them.
Increase The Safety Precautions
COVID-19 has come with a plethora of restrictions, rules and recommendations. Not only are many customers fearful and concerned about being out and about, but it is in your best interest to ensure that these are still followed.
Make sure you still have sanitizing products available for your customers upon entry and inside the restaurant. Creating and extending the “no mask, no entry” policy is also important. Not only are you looking after your employees’ health, but the other customers too.
Provide your staff members with the right equipment and protective wear when dealing with your customers. Should one of the staff be infected, there’s a high chance the rest of the team will be affected, and you will have to close the store for a period of time. Even now, being safe is still important. Your staff should also be extremely well trained when handling food, especially during the pandemic. Food handler training courses might be a good idea if you want your staff to be at their best safety-wise and your restaurant to avoid unnecessary emergencies.
Pivot Your Operations
As most businesses all over the world had to do, consider changing your operations. While customers are still concerned about dining in and being around potentially infectious people for too long, consider offering different options.
Not only can you offer a takeaway and curbside pickup service you can also consider providing other services for your customers. Restaurants all over the world are offering do-it-yourself meal kits for some of their most popular dishes.
Provide your customers with fresh, raw ingredients and a step-by-step recipe and encourage them to cook your most loved dishes at home. This a novel idea that will engage your customer while also creating a sense of loyalty and trust between them and your business.
Stay True To Your Brand
As much as you do have to stay relevant and alter certain aspects of your business to keep traffic coming through your doors, you do have to keep true to your brand. Customers return repeatedly due to consistency. They return for the great dish that you serve over and over. They return to the same table near the fireplace that they loved the last time.
So, once you perfect something, make sure that you keep it consistent. Keep the consistency running through every aspect of the business operations too. If you are offering pickup, delivery or takeaway options, ensure that your brand is carried through to the customer.
Remember, they will not be able to have the same interaction as they would when dining in, so consider adding some extra touches to your offerings. Hand-written notes, a free small item or even a discount code for the next time they visit your restaurant are great ways to keep your customers loyal.
In wrapping up, these times are not only synonymous with cutting costs and protecting yourself, your staff and your customers. It is also about taking care of your restaurant and ensuring that your brand stands out to your customers. Your customers have a variety of options to choose from when either going out to eat, or getting delivery, and you want to be at the forefront of their mind.
The key way to achieve this is by creating an unforgettable customer experience. Whether you establish what your customer wants directly, or experiment with various options until something works, make sure you are open to something new.