The U.S. restaurant industry has boomed in recent years. The National Restaurant Association concludes that…
Despite how hard the coronavirus has hit the restaurant industry, some establishments are thriving. These successful food venues have seen opportunity and seized it. Restauranteurs making a profit are not just lucky—they have strategically pivoted and continue to meet restaurant food demands.
Current data shows that sixty percent of Americans consume restaurant takeout food at least once a week. In the last few months, the number restaurant patrons have remained steady. During the Covid-19 crisis, people continue to find solace and camaraderie in restaurant dining.
Restaurants clearly have a profitable advantage, even as the pandemic rages on. Running a successful restaurant requires taking stock and revamping menu items, offering delivery options, increasing a social media presence, communicating with patrons, retraining employees and cutting costs when possible.
Tip 1: Revamp the Menu
In the pre-Covid-19 era, restaurant menus offered a wide array of dishes. Now, it is more important than ever to closely examine the existing menu and narrow it down to the most popular dishes. Focus solely on preparing best-selling items. Or, offer dishes that are created with similar ingredients.
A restaurant can offer a limited range of flavorful, quality menu items while scaling down. Ideal menu items are those that sell consistently well. Preparing a range of dishes that customers do not order nonstop only wastes valuable ingredients and, by extension, the restaurant budget.
Tip 2: Offer Delivery
As multiple government shutdowns loom in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, restaurants that expect to turn a profit will incorporate delivery options. Restaurants that do not ordinarily offer delivery or takeout will survive and thrive with a shift in their existing business model.
Restauranteurs better serve their market when they set up online ordering. Consider partnering with food delivery services for greater ease—but be wary of commission cuts. The majority of patrons prefer to order food directly from the restaurant, so give customers the opportunity.
Tip 3: Boost Social Media Presence
With most Americans staying home amidst the pandemic, people are using social media to its fullest extent. Restauranteurs who plan to stay connected with their customers amidst shutdowns should make greater use of social media, text and email. They are the most accessible, direct lines to patrons.
Be aware that how a restaurant communicates on social media is a good indicator of the experience customers can expect when ordering from the establishment. Take a moment to advise patrons of the restaurant’s ongoing coronavirus health safety practices, for instance.
Customers will want to remain loyal when they know the restaurant is taking sanitizing and cleaning seriously. Additionally, post changes to restaurant hours and menu items, dining options (such as outside seating or curbside delivery), current seating capacity and changes to the ordering process.
Digital marketing goes a long way now that people are stuck at home and still hungry for quality food. Use online advertising to let customers know about the latest menu offerings, specials or promotions. Well-developed online marketing campaigns help to retain loyal customers and acquire new ones.
Get savvy and update the restaurant website and apps. Ensure the online ordering systems stand out to stimulate an increase in purchases and drive business. Just like the restaurant menu items, the website and online ordering platforms should be irresistible to customers.
Tip 4: Retrain Employees
A restaurant’s employees are the cornerstone of the business. They prepare food, meet, greet and serve food to customers, fostering loyalty when service is optimum. In Covid-19 times, however, staff can get sick. It’s important to restrict sick employees from working and have a workable backup plan.
Employees who are trained in both back-of-house as well as front-of-house services can step in when another team member displays symptoms of Covid-19. Instead of scrambling for replacements, help staff learn to multitask and become knowledgeable about various duties, in advance.
Tip 5: Cut Costs
As mentioned, streamlining an existing menu is one way to cut costs—but not quality. A restaurant that aims to stay financially afloat during these unprecedented times should also make efforts to substantially reduce expenses, from equipment to technology to other types of overhead.
When fulfilling takeout orders, ask patrons if they need the disposable products, such as plastic forks and knives. A restaurant that now primarily caters to takeout customers should consider temporarily canceling the commercial music service. Similarly, dim or keep lights off to use less electricity.
Cost-cutting strategies also include updating the current technology. Inefficient phone and online ordering systems will only frustrate customers, and the restaurant can be sure they will lose orders and the associated revenues. Update the technology, but find ways to upscale for less.
High-speed internet service will be used at a minimum when restaurants patrons no longer dine-in as frequently as they once did. To economize, cancel the high-speed internet service. While scaling back on technology for the interim, be careful to protect the existing technology from cyberthreats.
Many restauranteurs find ways to remain profitable amidst the Covid-19 health crisis. One thing that business owners continue to do throughout the pandemic is utilize the professional services of Mahoney Environmental. We’re in the business of helping restaurants function at their best.
Mahoney Environmental knows how critical it is for commercial kitchens to safely dispose of used cooking oil. This is why our company makes regular, scheduled stops to collect and recycle cooking oil. Without reliable services like ours, uncollected cooking oil can lead to restaurant safety issues.
Proper equipment is also necessary to run a successful restaurant. Mahoney Environmental offers commercial grease trap cleaning services to prevent backups in drains and the resulting offensive odors in the kitchen. We’ll check your equipment, whether it is an indoor or outdoor grease trap.
Mahoney Environmental offers comprehensive cooking oil collection services that benefit not only the safety of your kitchen, but also the environment. We recycle used cooking oil and turn it into renewable resources. Affordable and reliable, Mahoney Environmental is prepared to serve your restaurant needs.