Preparing Your Restaurant For Re-opening After COVID-19
- October 13, 2020
With the COVID-19 pandemic still ongoing, restaurant owners around the country are not only battling the moral question fo whether or not they should open their doors, but also the local government restrictions on what will be acceptable if they do reopen. Some areas of the country have allowed restaurants to fully open back up again, while others are limited to a fraction of normal occupancy, and even in those areas you will find some restaurant owners who are more comfortable sticking to the takeout / online order delivery model that has exploded in popularity during the COVID-19 lockdowns.
When a restaurant will be allowed to reopen in any capacity is changing every day, so it is always best to keep up to date with local guidelines if you do plan on reopening. There is so much uncertainty right now surrounding how best to navigate the pandemic, especially from an economical standpoint, and a local government can allow restaurants to be open one day, and order them all closed the next. To best prepare for these type of scenarios you should continue to fully embrace the non-contact takeout and online delivery services that have been not only convenient but essentially a lifesaver for many restaurants during these tough times. Online delivery services are not only convenient, but a safer option that will remain a hugely popular business model for the unforeseeable future.
While online ordering / delivery and non-contact takeout are growing increasingly more popular by the day, the personal touch that comes with a brick & mortar location still goes an extremely long way. Restaurants should be looking at social media as a new way to keep in touch with customers and guests, so be sure to stay actively posting and answering messages on platforms whenever you can. Not only does the personal relationship build long term customers, but it also lets the curious people know whether or not your restaurant is still open.
And finally - it is your restaurant and you should open at your own pace. Even as restrictions are lifted in order to open back up the economy, you as the restaurant owner may not feel comfortable opening back up to 100% capacity - and that is fine. You may find that not only does it make you feel more comfortable, it may make your customers more at ease as well. Regardless of when you choose to re-open in-person dining at your establishment you should remember that online ordering and takeout will likely become a new norm of day-to-day restaurant life, so make sure to take that into account. And most importantly - stay safe and stay healthy.
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