The restaurant industry has taken many hits over the last couple of years. There have been COVID-19 fears leading to fewer dine-in customers, employee shortages, food cost prices have increased and many customers have changed their preference on how they like to dine. I know it sounds like a lot of doom and gloom, but don’t be discouraged! There are many ways you can lead your restaurant through these tough times and navigate to the other side.
Have an Efficient Delivery or Takeout Plan in Place
If we have learned anything during the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s that restaurants must have options for their customers. Being a dine-in only restaurant is nearly impossible to keep running these days. Not only did customers appreciate the contactless service they received through curbside and takeout for sanitary reasons, but they realized how convenient it was. Sure, a few restaurants were set up for this pre-pandemic, but now this is the majority, and once people have had a taste of the convenience and safety there is no turning back!
Promoting your restaurant on social media is a great way to increase visibility and interact with your customers. You can take polls, ask questions and show a creative side that people would not otherwise get to see. Social media offers a way for you to relate to your audience and engage them on a daily basis. It is a cost effective and easy way to advertise daily/weekly specials, early closures, or get the word out about fun promotions your restaurant is running during a holiday or event.
Another great way to go digital would be to consider implementing back office software to control costs. If you want to see your place of business run more efficiently and effectively while increasing your profits, this is definitely something you want in your restaurant.
Get Customer Feedback
Customer’s like to know they’re opinions are valued. Listen to your customers and when you can, make necessary changes. Having a feedback box on your website or using social media as a place for feedback are a couple of ways you can allow space for your customers to share what they love or what could be better. An outside perspective is always good, and can offer fresh eyes, maybe even point out some great ideas that you choose to implement.
So when you’re feeling overwhelmed by the curveballs being thrown your way, remember why you started your business and the passion that you had. It may not be easy, but there are definitely ways to grow with these changes and come out on the other side!