How Restaurants can Adapt to Keep their Doors Open During Covid-19

No matter how successful your business is, no one could have prepared for a global pandemic which has greatly impacted the hospitality industry. Restaurants had to deal with the sudden plunge in sales and loss of customers. Here are four tips to help businesses adapt during Covid-19 to keep their doors open:

Invest in Online ordering and Delivery

If you have not done so yet it is very important to pivot your business to include online ordering and delivery as a part of your business model. This allows customers to make purchases without having to physically visit a business. Online ordering options opens up your business offering beyond the confines of your physical location.

There are two different ways to approach online ordering: a native online ordering system, and a third-party online ordering service. A native online ordering solution is built directly into your Point of Sale system. This kind of solution offers you the most control over your offering without concerns about extra or hidden costs. Third-party online ordering solutions, on the other hand, lets third-party apps integrate into your POS.

Rethink your Menu and Inventory

Rethink your menu to provide yourself a certain amount of flexibility. This flexibility will allow you to spend less money on inventory and have control over how much inventory you are ordering and storing during this time. Simplify your menu to include your most popular items so that you do not waste money or stock on complicated items.

Customers may be looking for fresh groceries so think about selling your extra inventory and ingredients in bulk as groceries. Offer frozen bulk portions of your most popular menu items that can be heated and enjoyed at home. You can also offer Make-at-Home Kits which include the ingredients of your signature dishes so that customers can try and recreate them at home.

Single-Day or Single-Area Delivery

If you are noticing a decrease in sales daily perhaps you can experiment with specific delivery days. Review your Point of Sale sales reports to establish which days are your busiest. Open on just these days to cut down on costs and wasted time. This way you can also better plan your inventory orders and supply.
If you are running the logistics of your delivery process yourself, it may be useful to assign specific days to delivery to specific areas. This way you can do multiple deliveries in one area and not waste time driving long distances between delivery areas.

Gift cards

Restaurants can promote gift cards as a way for fans to support their favourite local restaurant during the lockdown and the time of COVID-19. Offer customers the opportunity to buy vouchers that they can redeem once it is safe for dine-in restaurants to open again. Take this time to also offer customers gift vouchers for future specials and unique restaurant experiences.

Appeal to your regular customers who may be missing your business and who would want to support you. Make gift cards available to your guests by any means necessary. If you don’t have a digital gift card option or online store, let them call the restaurant and place orders over the phone, then mail the gift cards to them or keep them on hand for their next visit. Use this tactic while you are still working out your delivery process. Not only will this help you make revenue now but it will also encourage customers to visit your business in the future.

One of the great things about small business is the ability to be agile and adapt quickly. It is time for small businesses to use this to their advantage. Hopefully, these tips will provide some guidance during these uncertain times for your business to adapt and thrive. Keep Safe and together we will get through this.

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