How restaurant business owners can survive COVID-19 impacts

As we are in unprecedented times with the COVID-19 pandemic devastating business sectors. As a restaurant business owner, your top priority is obviously the safety of your team members. But after ensuring a safe environment, you’ll need to get proactive and creative to stay afloat during this COVID Crisis. I am going to share some tips & insights for our restaurant and foodservice small business owners in these turbulent times.

Key ideas to keep moving sales and protect the business:

During this time, we will be fighting for every sale, but what can be done to keep the cash flow coming in?

Reassure your customers that you are taking the COVID Health risks seriously through your processes and procedures. Communicate the business actions you are taking in Dinning & Online. 

Encouraging people to buy gift Cards or vouchers. Already many restaurants have turned to encouraging their customers to buy gift vouchers for future visits or offer as gifts, which is a great idea. This will in turn, bring cash for the short term and ensure that you will have customers the future. 

Delivery modelduring this crisis, people may not come out to your restaurant, they still must eat, so consider how you can maximise the delivery business. You could offer your own delivery or team up with food delivering companies. 

Social media shout outs – promote your business with useful information to your database and on social media channels. Emphasise the actions you are taking in reducing possible contamination and use keywords such as ‘safety’ in your communication.

Meal recipe boxes many restaurants have already started offering their Meal Recipe Cooking kits as an interactive cooking experience for families to recreate their favorite dishes at home.

Online cooking classes As anyone would expect in this digital age, many kitchen novices are turning to the internet and social media (Instagram or Facebook) for guidance. Restaurants are gearing up to offer live streams and videos with cooking tutorials for free or Paid revenue models.

Inventory utilisation – Make the most of what you already have on stock before placing another order with vendors, particularly when it comes to perishable items. Also take the latest stock count, even if you already have a routine schedule for your counts. Calculate the value of those on-hand stock items and prioritise their usage according to value and expiry. This will help you know what you have on hand that will spoil most quickly, as well as what is most expensive. Retool your recipes & menu to monetise those Items before they go bad.

Appreciation – Very Small gestures will help a long way in getting repeat orders from your Customers. Show your customers how much you appreciate their business by including coupons for a percentage off a future order. Also, you can go with the old -classic approach of a handwritten thank-you note to make the gesture feel even more personal. 

Partnering – We are all in this COVID Crisis together right now. Reach out and take any opportunity you can find to partner with other nearby restaurants like – sharing kitchen space, staff, resources supplies, etc. Right now, there are no restaurant competitors, only partners in weathering the COVID storm.

The views and opinions published here belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of the publisher.

Manickavel Muthusamy
Manickavel Muthusamy is the CEO & Co-Founder of Expert Solution Technologies Canada Inc.

An Entrepreneur with in-depth understanding of Sales & Marketing of IT Services, Outsourcing and Global Delivery, worked with leading MNCs in multiple geographies including India, Canada and USA in his career spanning over 22 years. Currently owning a software firm in Canada helping Small & Medium Size business with a wide range of accounting technology solutions & services.

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