Just when life seemed to be feeling a little “normal”, a new variant of COVID-19 comes storming through. The good news is, restaurants have learned a lot in the last 22 months and should have some protocols in place to be ready to brave this surge. Let’s look back at some of the best practices that restaurants have implemented since the start of the pandemic to keep their business thriving and serving customers!
One of the first tactics restaurants set in place was curbside pick-up. Fast food chains with drive throughs, set up a curbside option to serve more guests efficiently and local business’s created space for customers to pick-up their orders without having to go inside. Curbside allows customers to pay online or over the phone, eliminating most physical contact. Some restaurants have upgraded their outdoor seating/patio setting to allow room for customers who enjoy the dining experience while other restaurants are creating food prep/grocery style meals to their menu either fully prepared or “cook at home”. These are all great ways to keep your doors open and serve people who are not comfortable dining in.
In an article by QSRMagazine, Stas Matviyenko outlines some of the best practices for running your restaurant during COVID-19. One of his suggestions was creating a safe space for customers by having disinfectant that meets the EPA’s criteria and ensuring your place is well kept and sanitized. Again, if customers do not feel safe, they are less likely to dine with you. Make sure you are communicating via your website or social media to keep everyone up to speed on what safety measures are being taken.
Lastly, if you have not gone digital, there is no time like the present! Customers have spoken and it seems they are ready for a full digital experience, from ordering to paying! Whatever your restaurant can do to run more efficiently and with minimal physical contact is going to help you not only now, but in the future. There are many companies like popmenu and DoorDash who can help you achieve success in this digital world and you can always check with your current POS provider to see what they have to offer. The restaurant industry was already moving in this direction, the pandemic just gave it a nudge to get there faster.
Your restaurant has survived this far, and it is capable of continuing to not merely survive, but thrive. Make sure you are pivoting as new information becomes available to ensure the safety of your staff and customers.