While the COVID-19 situation has been a disruptor to many industries, restaurants have the ability to weather this pandemic by adopting a few best practices.
Create a User-Friendly Website – This may seem obvious but is surprisingly not as common as many may think. If you are new to creating a website, here is a great resource to get started: https://websitesetup.org/. Once the site is set up, be sure to display your menu, contact information, delivery/takeout options and hours to attract business, in an easy to access location.
Use Social Media (LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, etc.) to reach existing customers and grow your customer base – Social media is a terrific (and free) way to promote your business. Take photos, post videos, display your menu and, most importantly, let people know you are open and ready to serve them.
Offer Delivery and Takeout if you are a traditional sit-down restaurant – The current pandemic has forced traditional sit-down restaurants to consider alternatives to remain open for business. See our eight tips for getting into delivery here. You can also download this free book for great ideas to pivot your business.
Partner with a Third-Party Delivery Service – If insourcing delivery is not for you, consider partnering with an established third-party delivery service. Benefits include avoiding mileage pay and other administrative considerations that come along with in-house delivery.
Sell Ingredients – This is especially applicable to traditional sit-down restaurants. If you are facing excess, package the ingredients in easy to sell packaging and advertise them to your customers. Don’t have a website yet? A sign will do.
Assure Customers on Handwashing and Sanitation Practices within your Business – In light of COVID-19 and beyond, customers will want to know the safeguards in place to ensure cleanliness. Use your website, social media and signs to get the message out that your business is following safe sanitation guidelines.
Supplier Diversification – If you aren’t already engaging in supplier diversification, this pandemic should encourage you to start. As a best practice, never rely on one supplier exclusively to provide a good or service. When considering diversification, have at least two suppliers for each good or service and consider their location, terms and lead time, just to name a few.
Keep Apprised of COVID-19 Legislation – From the Families First Coronavirus Response Act to the CARES Act, there is an abundance of legislation, programs and funding available — with new legislation and guidance coming almost every day. Review our COVID-19 Resource Hub or contact HORNE Franchise to learn more.
It is easy to get caught in the moment, especially during these unprecedented times. This will one day be behind us and anticipating trends and preparing for the future will be the differentiator between a successful and unsuccessful business.