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5 Tips for Remaining Viable Amid COVID-19 and Beyond: A Restaurateurs’ Guide


The restaurant and food service industry was hit hard by the continuing coronavirus health crisis. Businesses experienced significant downturns amid the pandemic. Many restaurants throughout the United States may have faced stagnant business because of stay-at-home lockdown orders enacted earlier in the year, dining room closures to prevent large gatherings of people and some customers’ fear of going out to eat.


Business owners have been in survival mode, finding ways to keep their restaurants open and serve customers. Some eateries have relied on fulfilling online orders, providing delivery services and curbside pickups. That being said, restaurateurs’ efforts have paid off, as noted by The National Restaurant Association. Reports revealed that consumer spending in restaurants increased for three consecutive months between May and July.


While sales are rising, they’re doing so at a slow pace. Through it all, restaurant owners are implementing new operational strategies that will enable their business to withstand the coronavirus pandemic’s impact and enhance long-term operations. Following the tips listed below, you can put your restaurant in a position to remain viable in an industry and society that is ever-changing.


1. Adopt strategies for cutting costs.

Marketing and public relations, furniture and renovation, technology, equipment, food expenses and more are some of the essential costs of starting a restaurant and keeping it open.


To avoid overspending on food, consider making bulk purchases and having a trusted vendor send your food in installments to keep food from spoiling. Prioritize ingredients and food purchased first, and plan your inventory in a way that enables you to avoid food waste or food expiring without being used. Consider scaling down some of the menu offerings to cut costs and increase profit margins. Scaling down the menu offers you a way to make dishes more efficiently, streamlining your operations.


Restaurateurs can also minimize costs by purchasing energy-efficient food service equipment fit for commercial kitchens. High-quality, durable restaurant equipment from a reputable supplier is sure to last long, allowing business owners to get more for their money. By using an excellent equipment company, you can acquire the restaurant supplies and janitorial tools you need to produce your best food and keep your small business sanitized.


2. Take advantage of the web.

At a time when online orders are likely to increase, it’s crucial to have a functional website that’s easy for customers to view and navigate on all types of electronic devices. Be sure to include your current menu, operation hours, delivery or pickup services and contact information on your website and update it as often as possible.


Customers will likely want details on your restaurant’s response to the pandemic, and they deserve such transparency. Through your website and social media content, communicate your hygiene and safety protocols. A clear, informative website that facilitates online ordering and contactless paying options can increase your restaurant’s viability. You can even post about the new restaurant equipment you've acquired to help stay sanitized and streamlined during this unprecedented time.


3. Enhance your marketing tactics.

Through digital and visual marketing, you can build brand awareness and visibility. To increase conversions and encourage new customers and customer retention, promote your restaurant through social media posts and video content. For design services, promotional video production and content marketing tailored to your target audience, harness the video production services and filmmaking expertise of a professional creative agency, such as a reputable videography company in Los Angeles. Entrust your video marketing strategy to a video production company with years of experience and superior video work. Many people are discovering new restaurants online, so it's critical that you go the extra mile both with your restaurant equipment and with your visual marketing.


4. Introduce special meal offerings.

Another way to maintain sufficient sales is to create specials for your customers that can bring your restaurant’s atmosphere to their homes and workplaces. Specials and meal kits that offer large takeout portions, for example, can be convenient for families who crave restaurant food after cooking at home for months, and employees who are back in their offices.


5. Adjust your operating hours.

Knowing when customer demand is highest and gaining insight into peak ordering times allows you to leverage such information to avoid calling in staff members and putting in more prep time than necessary. By creating a practical labor strategy around off-peak hours and limiting operation hours to busy times, restaurateurs can save money and be ready to serve customers when meals are most in-demand and business is booming.


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