It is indeed a difficult time to be a restaurant owner at the moment. If you’re one of the few who still has the opportunity to serve customers, then you should consider yourself fortunate (and well prepared). Others aren’t as lucky with the global crisis forcing many to halt operations while they wait for an indefinite unknown future or simply close their doors for good.
However, just because you can still continue to keep your business open now, doesn’t mean that you don’t have to change anything about the way you run it. The end of this current situation will usher in a new age of restaurant management—one that is better prepared and with greater foresight for threats to your business like the one we’re facing now.
What this means is that you need to be thinking about your next steps today. You need to ready your business to face the new business landscape that this crisis has created. And while we can’t say for certain what that will exactly look like, we can make a few assumptions based on what we’re already seeing.
1. The need for food delivery and online ordering will continue to grow
The high demand for food delivery didn’t go away because of the crisis. In fact, the current situation shows quite the opposite. It’s what has allowed many restaurants to stay open, and this will surely carry on well after all this is over.
Why? It’s because once the crisis has ended, people will go back to their old, busy routines. They would probably want to continue ordering food deliveries for their needs, especially now that they’ve grown used to the convenience it brings.
This means that you should prepare to meet this likely increase in food delivery orders. You can do this by having online ordering systems in place that streamline telephone and online ordering for both you and your customers.
2. You must find cost-effective and long-term solutions for your marketing
Marketing is what keeps businesses alive, and this has only been reinforced by the situation we’re all facing today. Imagine what would happen if you could no longer communicate with your customers or maintain your business’s visibility. Those would undoubtedly spell a major challenge for your business, one that could even be disaster.
In other words, marketing is hugely important, but you must be able to implement it in a way that allows you to do so sustainably. This means you have to find ways to reach customers that are cost-effective and built with the future in mind.
Digital marketing is perhaps the most practical way to do this. Its strategies allow you to stay connected even when lock-downs are in place, and these can deliver results both immediate and long-term. Just take a look at what even $5 a day on Facebook did for a restaurant.
Remember, you are in a position to provide people with one of their basic needs—food—which means this situation is a unique opportunity to tell everyone about what you can offer.
It’s important to accept the reality that the whole coronavirus, or more aptly the situation that has resulted, will probably not be the last of its kind. We’re inevitably going to see more events like this one in the future, and it could mean that the same set of problems arise. However, that’s only if we’re not prepared for them.
With these lessons that we’ve outlined, we hope you can take the necessary precautions to keep your restaurant alive through this crisis, as well as protected once it has ended.
We provide marketing services for restaurants, and we’d be happy to give you more advice to get through this situation. Take a look at our plans, or get in touch with us if you’d like to work out how to better market your restaurant.