So many businesses in the hospitality sector have been affected by covid-19 and right now things seem a little bleak. With the ever changing guidelines and things that people can and can’t do, it may seem like your restaurant business is doing anything but thrive these last few months. Of course, things are tough right now, but that doesn’t mean to say that you can’t start planning for the future. There are some positive changes to come out of this phase. There are improvements that you can make, you have the time to fine tune things and to certainly focus on smaller numbers that could ultimately mean that as you get business, your business is improved.
It feels tough right now, but this is why it is essential to focus on the areas of your business that you can make the most difference. With that in mind, here are some of the things to consider, the changes you can make, and the impact you can put onto your restaurant business to help it thrive beyond covid-19. We will all get through this difficult time and come out on top.
Social distancing will become the norm for a long time to come
There is no denying that social distancing is a term that this time last year we hadn’t even heard about, but now it is very much the normal. With the virus not going away anytime soon, it is important to understand that social distancing will be around for some time. So you will need to adapt your business, just temporarily like you may have done already, but look at more permanent fixtures to make social distancing easier in your restaurant establishment. This might be spacing out tables or using different furniture. It could be using clear screens between tables so people feel safer but yet can still have that cosy restaurant environment. Make it easy to enter and exit your business and think about how things are set up. This will help your business to continue to operate and get the most out of the space that you have.
Get all the right cover in place
Right now it is so important to ensure that your business is covered and so it may be time to look through the insurances that you have. It might be that you need to consider new policies or upgrade the ones that you have. It could be worth looking online for the best restaurant insurance out there so you know that you are getting a good deal. While you want to reduce your outgoings as much as possible, you don’t want to necessarily reduce your protection or the cover that you have. It is vital to ensure that you are protected, now more than ever.
It is time to go digital
Perhaps you have never had your menus online before, or had any real need to share your restaurant online, but it is time to start thinking about some of these digital elements to not only improve your business but to make it covid safe. You could look at creating a website that has your menu online. This helps to avoid having to use menus in your restaurant or gives you the opportunity to share specials ahead of time. Within your website you could also add a booking system. Nowadays it isn’t as easy to walk into a place and expect a table due to social distancing and government guidelines with track and trace, so a booking system could take all of that away. Plus it can help you to plan in terms of produce and deliveries. Another thing to consider would be an app to place orders. This takes away all forms of paper and reduces the contact with waiting staff. It might not be ideal, but right now this could be an excellent way to enhance your business digitally and to keep you and your customers safe.
Diversify your restaurant business
With less customers walking through the door to dine in, it might be time to start looking at diversifying your business as best you can. So what can you do? There are plenty of ways that you could do this but one of the most obvious ones would be to offer a take out option. This is where your application could work well for placing orders. You could enable customers to order online and then collect their delivery. It allows you to stay open longer and also accommodate more people than you could if you had to just rely on people dining in. It might not be the ideal, but with more people wanting to stay in themselves anyway, an alternative style of takeaway in terms of food could prove very popular.
Make the establishment safe
Another thing that you may want to invest more time in is making the establishment covid safe. You may have already put temporary measures in place but it is time to think long term. Think about hand sanitizing stations, how your staff appear and are protected as well as one way systems. The more you do and invest your time into it, the safer people will feel which will encourage them back to your business as well in the future. Of course, there are certain guidelines that are essential, but think about the long term so that no investment is wasted.
Offers and deals to entice customers back
Last of all, it might be time to think about weekly offers and deals that will help bring customers into your restaurant. People are more inclined to stay in at the moment, and so you may want to make it appealing to come into the restaurant. You will have already made it safe and secure so advertise this as much as possible. Show pictures online through social media and share peoples reviews. Offer up deals such as a percentage off the food bill or even free drinks. Maybe think about kids eating free at certain times of the week or look at ways you can entice customers such as theme nights and celebrations. We need to bring back the social side of life as safely as we can and your restaurant could be a great local hero in doing this.
Let’s hope these tips help you when it comes to helping your business thrive beyond covid-19.