Is there a way to prepare your restaurant for the coming surge of the pandemic?
When running a business, you need to have a strategy in place to continue developing. If you are a restaurant owner, you have had to face a huge number of difficulties in recent months. How do you run a business in times of pandemic?
You were running a venture that was continuously growing and gaining new customers. The Covid-19 pandemic took you completely by surprise, and all of a sudden you had to face numerous new challenges that affected the food service industry. For a little while, things improved and restaurateurs celebrated the reopening of their establishments. Unfortunately, it is impossible to predict how things will play out in the next few months. A scenario that involves the reintroduction of restrictions is very likely. Is there a way out of this difficult reality? What can be done to increase your restaurant’s profits and make your customers happy? We have put together some interesting tips based on Simon Kucher’s 2020 Report The New Normal for Restaurants: Consumer behavior in a world after COVID-19 lockdowns.
Expectations of your customers
Your customers’ expectations should be your primary concern. According to Simon Kucher’s 2020 report, in both restaurant and delivery formats, consumers will pay more attention to healthy options in the menu, the taste and quality of products, and restaurants’ compliance with sanitary standards. The pandemic has altered consumer needs and expectations to a considerable extent. Prior to the introduction of restrictions, only 33% of those surveyed declared that they cooked meals at home, while 67% used to eat out. During the epidemic, this situation changed significantly, and as many as 55% of those surveyed opted for home-cooked meals. After the restrictions were lifted, the situation resembles the times before the pandemic, although more people still prefer to prepare meals at home (37%). For this reason, in order to convince customers to use the food delivery service or try restaurant food, it is advisable to focus on healthy and wholesome dishes that will compete with home cooking.
Regardless of whether restaurants stay open or only serve take-out food, the interest in the home delivery service will continue to increase. According to the report, once the restrictions are lifted, as many as 65% of those surveyed intend to continue to provide take-out food. For this reason, you should prioritise different channels of communicating with customers and providing the food delivery service.
Actions to boost your restaurant’s profits
What should you focus on if you want to increase your restaurant’s profits or at least minimise losses during the pandemic? You should concentrate on running a hybrid business. What does this mean? Introduce a suitable menu and ensure excellent customer service in the restaurant while investing in home deliveries. One thing you will need is a POS system dedicated to restaurants providing the home delivery service. Automating your restaurant workflow and all the tasks related to delivery will make the day-to-day operations of your business considerably easier. Why is it important to develop your home delivery service and ensure the right communication channels with your customers? According to Simon Kucher’s 2020 report, 25% of consumers intend to order meals through websites and apps once the economy reopens. In contrast, prior to the COVID-19 restrictions, only 21% of respondents said they were willing to do so.
An interesting solution aimed at attracting and, most importantly, retaining customers once your restaurant provides a take-out option are loyalty cards, vouchers and stamps. Promotions can encourage potential customers to choose your particular restaurant. Of course, delicious food and great service are crucial, but you should not forget about marketing. It is time to embark on new challenges!