Businesses all over the world are doing their best to stay alive during the pandemic-induced economic recession. The economic downturn has devastated many industries, including the restaurant sector. A report commissioned by the Independent Restaurant Coalition revealed that a majority of independent restaurants might shut down permanently this year.
Although some food establishments are staying alive by providing takeout and delivery options to customers, others are unsure of what the future holds for them. If you’re a restaurant manager or an owner of food business, know that there’s hope. You don’t need to throw in the towel and contact a bankruptcy lawyer. You can manage this situation and keep your business afloat during and after the crisis.
Here are measures you can take to minimize the negative impact of the coronavirus in your food business and come out strong:
Change Your Business Goals
The goals you’ve set before the pandemic may not match with the current and altered business environment. Your food establishment, therefore, needs to take into account the flow of the changing times and plan for the future of work.
Since the ongoing global pandemic has sent shock waves to the restaurant and food industry landscape, you need to align your goals to these changes. If guests cannot come to you, think of ways to get to your guests.
Make Your Food Business Feel Safe for Guests
If you do have customers still dining at your food establishment, you’ll want to make them feel safe during these challenging times. This means cleaning your dine-in area as thoroughly as possible.
When cleaning your food establishment, opt for regular soap. The oily membrane present in the virus disintegrates with soap and water.
Next, pay close attention to machines that circulate air, such as air conditioning units, along with high-contact surfaces like doors, tables, and light switches.
When you’re making efforts to clean and disinfect your food establishment, show your diners that you’re doing everything possible to help them feel safe. You could, for instance, spray scented disinfectant in the air. Another option is to instruct cleaning staff to wipe down the chairs and tables after each diner exits your establishment. You may also put up a signing describing your thorough and frequent sanitation efforts.
Prioritize the Health of Your Employees
Your employees serve as the backbone of your restaurant or food establishment. Keeping them healthy, therefore, is vital to the survival of your business. Ask them to wear face masks and other protective gear during their shift.
Also, give hand sanitizers to your team. This is crucial for cashiers who are handling cash. If possible, switch to cashless temporarily to avoid spreading the virus by cash and limit customer interaction.
Reduce Your Staff Numbers
Here’s a bitter truth you need to understand during these troubled times: You can’t save everyone in your food business. At some point, you will need to cut back on the number of employees. If you have to let some of your staff go, make it happen to keep your business afloat.
Before you lay off your employees, look for ways to support them financially. After all, these people have mouths to feed and bills to pay. If your business has the budget, offer a special assistance package to help them cope up with these times of uncertainty.
Put More Effort in Marketing
Now is not the time to reduce your marketing budget and effort. You should do everything you can to reach as many customers as possible. Some of the marketing strategies you can implement are the following:
- Send Promotions via Email — If you have the email addresses of your diners, you could send them a message that communicates the status of your food business. This is also an opportunity to include promotional deals or discounts on your food items. Email is an effective way to reach out to individuals who are required or encouraged to stay at home.
- Promote Your Food Business on Social Media — Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram aren’t just for personal use. Tap these social networking platforms to market your food establishment. Take the opportunity to post the events you’re planning along with special deals to attract your customers.
- Advertise Food Holiday Events — Although diners may visit food establishments less frequently to abide by the social distancing rules, they may consider coming together during notable holiday events, such as graduation celebrations and Christmas. Promote these events and let your customers know that you’re taking measures to keep your food business clean and sanitary.
The ongoing health crisis has launched businesses over the world in turmoil. Instead of feeling depressed and worried about what will happen to your food establishment, look at the crisis as an opportunity to serve your customers better.