If you're a restaurateur, the safety of your staff and your guests should be the number one priority. You’ll also have to bear the burden of strategizing how you will run your business during this tumultuous period. Take the opportunity to forge a deeper relationship with your loyal consumer base. Show how much you care for them by supporting them through the uncertain times ahead. You may very well find that once everything blows over, they'll be there to support you as well.
To help you keep your business up and running, listed below are some tips that can help you minimize the revenue impact of the coronavirus outbreak. From streamlining your operations to the appropriate promotional initiatives you can employ, here are strategies that can help you keep your customers:
Make your establishment a safe space for guests.
People are wary about visiting public places in fear of contracting the virus, so you have to make sure that your restaurant is as clean as possible. The EPA has issued a list of disinfectants that are effective at killing bacteria, which you can use on surfaces that customers often come in contact with, like doors and light switches. It would be best to provide protective gloves for your team, especially those who handle cash. You also need to schedule multiple cleanings to keep everything disinfected.
To reassure your customers that dining at your restaurant is safe, communicate with them directly via various channels. Prove to them that your place can be a safe haven for them. Additionally, reiterate your efforts through your messaging. Broadcast on social media the necessary precautions you're taking to make customers feel cared for. Do what you can to make guests want to dine at your restaurant.
If all else fails, consider closing your restaurant for a time and lean on your cash reserves. While it’s a risk, you may find it necessary if the government mandates you to do so or if you cannot guarantee sanitary conditions to both your team and your customers.
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Support deliveries and to-gos.
Some local governments are limiting restaurants to takeout and delivery only, so this should also be something you ought to consider. Try to create versions of your food for families to enjoy in their respective homes. And since people will most likely still gather in small groups, you can also consider providing them with catering options to accommodate more customers.
A good restaurant point of sale app with online ordering capabilities like Kyte can be a lifesaver during this period. Putting your menu online and making it easy for customers to schedule pickups or deliveries will ensure you stay in business without having to put anyone’s health at risk.
Your system should be able to make direct online ordering a breeze. However, you may have to take the initiative to spread the word about your delivery and takeout options. Remind them that with direct ordering, they will help support your business as you won’t have to pay fees as would be necessary with third-party services.
Collaborate with nearby restaurants.
Other restaurants are no longer your competitors at this point in time — they should be your partners. See if you can link up with one so you can save on costs. You can share kitchen space, resources, staff, and supplies. It's important to help each other to get through this entire ordeal.
Study POS data for food cost savings.
To further save on overhead costs, it's important to study your POS system data. Figure out which menu items you can temporarily eliminate, ideally those that are not exactly crowd-favorites. You should also look for the items your most loyal guests love ordering so you can better plan how you'll buy food and supplies.
During this perilous time, the key is to get creative to stay afloat and be extra empathetic to everyone in your community. Should you need a reliable POS system that can handle all your sales via smartphone, get in touch with us today. We’re happy to help.