Restaurant and food service business is the largest business chain that connects to the customers on daily basis. Covid 19 pandemic situation has impacted the industry, more than anything. As the saying goes, there’s light after the tunnel. Slowly, but surely food service business is set for a renaissance. Obviously, things won’t be same as before the pandemic havoc. In result, the whole of Food industry would undergo an evolution. We have to be ready and running, straight away.
With the reopening is around the corner, there are some vital aspects to be covered. As we all know, Safety measures has to be tightened more than ever. But, is that it? No. The reopening of the restaurants would be practically, a start over from ground level. We may not be sure about the financial situation and market post-pandemic. We may not see free flowing audience, as there may be concerns and doubts over the cloud. The Restaurateurs must be able to ensure safety and emphasize on hygiene more than anything. Restaurants may be the initial gathering public domain during post pandemic era.
Obviously, Financial Planning is essential in the initial phase. The lock down has caused huge impact on the financial management. The cash flow may not be liberal. Restaurateurs may have been squeezed and reluctant to spend as they usually does. At the same time, it’s time for transformation and modernization. So, it’s crucial to manage finances more strategically. The pipeline has to be cleaned, before the funds are to be invested. The necessary expenses and luxury add-ons has to be differentiated and managed.
Right Survival and sustainable strategy has to be identified and implemented. Since each and every food outlets are opening at a single stretch, every restaurateur would try to market at full swing. Unique survival strategy would stand out from the market. Sustaining in the current market is difficult than ever. But it’s crucial to keep motivated and stick to the basic, without fail.
Modernization and Transformation is the next step to be taken care of. The mode of operations would change drastically. The restaurant should insist more on employ and safety. As we touched earlier on, reviving their confidence is part of regenerating business demand. Restaurant setup has to be transformed implying social distancing and safety. Restaurants must let the customers- that they care about their health and hygiene.
Greet them with basic safety measures and protocols that would create an impression on your preparation. Dining has to be arranged in such a way that minimum contact is possible. The authorities have issued rules and regulations such as avoiding Printed menus, that usually used by visiting customers. One unique transformation to be applied is switching to Digital or E Menu. Leading tech solutions have come up with great ideas and applications to tackle the situation. (Check here for more details.)
Since these are first phase of reopening, restaurants should prepare healthy and local food- on the safer side. There are two sides of this- one set of customers may be looking to satisfy their fantasy appetite. The others would be regular customers. It is advisable to have a shorter menu, in the initial phase. The cutlery, plates and bowls has to be sterilized properly and ensure customers the safety. There may be a chance of restaurateurs going for disposable plates and glasses as a gesture of transparency. But we should keep in mind that, we have been trying to expel and minimize plastic from our kitchen and stores for a while now. We shouldn’t make those efforts in vain.
General trend during lock down indicates that the customers prefer home delivery and take away (as it was only possible). People would appreciate if the favorite restaurant provide them the delivery also. Many restaurants have added Delivery to their operations.
Going forward, Delivery might be the most revenue generating mode of sales. So, it’s necessary for the restaurants to have home delivery module, App or Live menu available at customer’s hands. Food aggregators also bounce to this opportunity to associate with more restaurants. Custom Food delivery applications are available in the current market. Even with delivery at home, must ensure social distancing and safety in delivery. The manner in which riders deliver is how customers realize your commitment. Safety measures has to be provided to the rider also. Home delivery is also a silent marketing with greater exposure.
Having touched on many aspects, the first phase after lock down must be tricky. The emphasis should not be on profit or revenue, as it would take a bit to accumulate. This is the stepping stone to a brand new era and it’s all about survival and sustainability.
Let’s work together in the right spirit to revive the industry and be part of the evolving culture and towards success.