According to most experts, a restaurant’s failure rate can go to more than 50% within its first three years of operations. Most especially at uncertain times like the current crisis the entire world is facing which has significantly impacted the restaurant industry, conducting a feasibility study prior to re-opening a restaurant business is very important.
The following are the factors that should be considered:
The New Normal for Restaurants
The new normal requires restaurant operators to conduct a new feasibility study taking into account the changes that the pandemic has brought. There would be changes on the business’ revenue, employees, and customer preferences. The way restaurants should operate on its re-opening should be based on the social distancing rules and best practices as advised by the World Health Organization and of the local government communities. Reduced capacity with empty spaces and taped-off tables is a new normal now for restaurants. Other regulations that should be followed to enforce social distancing rules include:
– Two (2) to six (6) meters spacing between tables that eventually require the removal of excess tables, chairs and booths
– Entrances in restaurants must be rearranged to give space to signage and floor markings
– There should also be adjustments on the employees’ workstations
– Host stations, tables and bar areas should have plexiglass divisions
Know the Behavior of Both Your Customers and Staff
Your feasibility study should also include an analysis of how both your customers and staff behave inside your premises. With the new normal, everyone is expected to comply with temperature checks (which customers may not feel comfortable with), increased sanitation and cleaning duties (for your staff), and wearing face masks. You should be prepared to address these concerns through the following:
– Adding managers and owner’s presence to monitor compliance of staff to the new sanitation and cleanliness guidelines
– Enforce the “no mask, no entry” policy for both your staff and customers
– Limit the number of people who are allowed on each table
– Collect contact information from guests upon arrival for contact tracing purposes
Revamping of the Business Model
Your feasibility study should be able to identify how you must revamp your current business model. Diversifying your offerings, adding new revenue streams such as offering meal kits, takeout and curb-side pick-up services (if these were not part of your services before), and providing co-working spaces or hosting events must all be considered.
Increase Consumer Confidence to Succeed in the New Normal
Picking up the pieces after the ill effects of the pandemic would require a deep dive understanding of how you can overcome the constraints caused by social distancing. Conducting a feasibility study can absolutely help you earn revenue . You just have to make sure that the recommendations based on your analysis are compliant with the health and safety guidelines of your local government. You also need to review your current menu versus the new preferences of your customers so you can modify the type of inventory that you need. And of course, your action plans should also include business continuity in preparation for future disruptions.