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Restaurants are among the many small businesses struggling during the COVID-19 pandemic. Guests are staying home and meals are mostly takeout: 92% of restaurant traffic is now outside the dining room, with most states banning in-restaurant dining altogether. We’re facing a long road back “to business as usual,” but there are things your restaurant can do to support your community, care for your employees, and keep the lights on.
1. Shift your mindset
Before you try to rethink your restaurant workflow, you may need to redesign your mental model. Basic idea is to examine your priorities and set clear intentions rather than functioning only in response to emerging problems or concerns. Running a small business is tough even in ordinary times. Find that conviction, resilience, and strength that brought you to this point. Small business owners are the bedrock of our communities: your family, your employees, and your neighbors will look to you for leadership.
2. Rethink your menu and service offerings
The next step is to find creative ways to use what you have. How can you reimagine your offerings to sustain income while serving your community? Here are some ideas to get you started:
3. Offer family-style menus…
Modify your menu to offer dishes that travel well, are full of long-lasting ingredients reliably available from your suppliers, and feed a full family.
For menu ideas: firstname.lastname@example.org
4. Publish daily specials
Ingredient availability might be a logistical challenge, especially fresh ingredients. Publish a new daily menu each morning to provide options based on ingredient availability.
5. Freezer friendly recipes
Create freezer-friendly recipes to reduce wastage.
Help with Freezer friendly recipes: email@example.com
6. Drinks and dinner combo
Customers that want to dine at home will appreciate a value package that includes a liter sized bottle of your specialty drink.
7. Sell groceries and pantry staples
For those who want a less crowded shopping experience, restaurants can be a lifeline. Sell groceries, unique gourmet items, and pantry staples that you can source directly from your suppliers to offer an alternative way to get food in the house. Groceries also encourage customers to come back frequently, helping your cash flow.
8. Pivot to delivery
Many apps are available to set up online ordering quickly and easily as well as well known delivery services such as Food Panda, Nham24, etc. Delivery services charge a hefty fee, but you get exposure and promotional support as well. Set up your in-house delivery service instead of or in addition to 3rd party delivery companies.
Let us set up an internal delivery system for you: firstname.lastname@example.org
9. Curbside pickup
Curbside pickup is another great option for restaurant guests no longer able to, or choosing not to, dine out. Curbside pickup refers to order pickup by the customer, at the restaurant. Typically the customer will park outside, often in a designated space, while a runner brings the order out to the car. This is where mobile, handheld POS devices come in very handy. Redesign your take-out protocols to account for customers who won’t be entering your establishment. Encourage repeat visits by adding a “bounce back” card with the take-out meal, offering something special on the customer’s next visit (with a tight expiration date).
Let us help you with curbside SOP system for you: email@example.com
10. Contactless payment
Exchanging payment physically is one of the easiest ways to transmit germs. Contactless payments are a fast, secure, and hygienic way for your guests to close their tab with a debit card, credit card, or mobile device. Simply tap and go—a great option for curbside or in-restaurant pickup.
11. Set up an e-commerce site
Set up an e-commerce page or an entire website to give customers a way to order and pay remotely. If you have them, include non-perishable grocery items, like your restaurant’s special sauce, grocery items, or pantry staples, as additional items for sale. Here’s how to set up an e-commerce site that can provide an additional revenue stream for your restaurant.
For help in setting up an e-commerce website for you: firstname.lastname@example.org