The restaurant industry needs to face the reality that the large-scale modern event of the enormity brought by Covid-19 forces us all to embrace a new normal. The onset of the year 2020 has been packed with changes including the tremendous adjustment that people all over the world had to take in terms of dining. Limited movement in the cities due to restrictions halted the operation of restaurants. As a result, people started eating at home and looking for other options to dine. How will the pandemic re-define the new normal in restaurants?
It has been more than half a year since the dramatic changes took place in the way people live and a rebound is not expected to happen anytime soon. The unprecedented times require revolutions in the operations of restaurant businesses. Here are some of the changes that you expect to see as a new normal in restaurants post Covid-19:
- Redirection of massive promotion and marketing to other priorities such as supporting local communities in the fight against Covid-19 such as the furloughed and the elderly since consumers are now looking more into real and authentic stories that resonate with the needs of the consumers.
- Innovating family meals and having an express grocery where you can drive revenue by adding proprietary restaurant items and staples
- Improvement in your online ordering capability and development or modification of your app. This means having enhanced app functionalities, self-serve ordering terminals, amplified consumer order and sanitation tracking.
- Sending of visible clues to your customers that sanitation and social distancing are on top of your priorities by having frictionless takeout and curb-side pick-up services.
- Coming up with tamper-proof delivery packaging
- Simplify restaurant operations and start with your menu. The new normal in restaurants has inevitably obliged us to go back to the basics and stick with the menu options that are popular with the customers or those that are considered as comfort food choices. This in turn reduces the SKUs in your restaurants and peels off your staffing layers.
- Creating a safer work environment for your employees, not just for your customers, as this is crucial in attracting and keeping customers.
- Venturing into new areas of revenue to stay afloat in your restaurant business. As a new normal in restaurants, be ready to adapt to changes such as adding dayparts, selling groceries at restaurants, offering meal kits, and having ghost kitchens.
- Having a more collaborative relationship with your suppliers such as seeking support in innovation, testing, recipes, cost-saving ideas and other merchandising and promotion aids. Be open to changes and risk-sharing per se.
- Implementing tighter financial management through labor adjustments, having more adaptable restaurant designs and replacing them with more efficient floor plans and retro-fitting of existing locations.
If you are a restaurant operator who needs a deeper understanding of the situation we are in and the new normal in restaurants post Covid-19, ERC can give you better insights. Our team’s years of expertise in the restaurant trade makes us the most qualified in guiding you at this most challenging time for the restaurant industry.