The Post-COVID Business Plan For Your Restaurant
October 3, 2020
Article Overview10min read
With the lockdown coming to an end, restaurateurs have been finally allowed to resume in-person restaurant dining operations with new guidelines on food safety and social distancing. These guidelines have caused a significant shift in the dining experience for customers. Some of the changes you can expect in the new dining environment include limited dining-in as well as a drastic increase in demand for delivery.
The new shifts underscore the need for an updated restaurant marketing plan that accounts for the effects of COVID-19 as well as the evolving guidelines on the hospitality and restaurant industry. Keep reading for the top aspects you must focus on post-pandemic.
Upgrade Your Takeout And Delivery Systems
Contactless delivery and takeout are rapidly turning into the new norm. An especially interesting trend is the increase in demand for family meals that proves to be advantageous to both patrons as well as the restaurant.
By providing meals with a variety of portions, entrees, and desserts, you reduce the usage of packaging materials, cut down on multiple delivery trips, and delivery charges for third-party apps. This is while profiting from higher-priced bulk meals instead of a cheaper single meal. Meanwhile, consumers enjoy a meal for the entire family while minimizing contact with the outside world. These deals are also beneficial for couples and singles as they can stock up on food for a couple of days.
Revise The Menu
With businesses running slower than usual and being accompanied by a decrease in new inventory, this is a good time to re-consider aspects of your restaurant. Updating your menu, increasing profit margins, and cutting down on food costs can be a place to start.
Using existing data from the POS system to look for any trends, you can learn what your best selling menu items are and what products aren’t selling as well. Try to trim down your menu to your best-selling products by removing items that take up more effort and time to create than the gains you receive from selling them and also ones that are not as popular.
Promote Gift Cards
What makes gift cards an interesting source of revenue is that you can keep your cash flow steady without having to provide something in return immediately. This is at least until your restaurant business gets back to its usual levels of sale.
To effectively sell gift cards, look back to promotions you’ve run in the past and see if you can advertise the same offer through social media or email marketing. Several studies have also indicated that only about 80% of all gift cards are utilized, making the rest of it a pure profit for your restaurant.
Keep In Touch With Customers
All restaurants have a lot of customer data that often goes unused. This is the right time to get back on email marketing to reach out to your customers as the use of emails in restaurant marketing remains one of the most effective tools to reach out to a large number of customers. Let them know that your business is open and that you have implemented new health and safety strategies to welcome them back.
COVID-19 has rapidly changed the norms of the restaurant industry and how it operates. The little break in traffic can be difficult to deal with but it also gives restaurateurs the space to revisit their existing business plans and develop new strategies that meet the demands of the future.
While measures like the use of masks are – possibly – temporary, technological interventions like contactless payments are bound to stick around long after the pandemic is over. Staying up to date with the latest technology and ready to adapt to new regulations and demands can help you move ahead of competitors and be a leader of the restaurant industry.