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5 Steps Restaurants Need to Take to Survive COVID-19 Pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic has completely changed the way we live our lives. Many of our daily activities that we took for granted are now a luxury. For example, going to a restaurant without being afraid of falling sick or spreading your illness to other people is now a valid concern that everyone has.

When trying to figure out how restaurants can survive COVID-19, one thing that restaurant owners must keep in mind is that they will to put in extra time, energy, and effort if they wish to sustain themselves during the pandemic.

Whether that means regularly getting your employees checked or upgrading your hygiene and cleaning practices—all of this is now essential to survival. Here are some steps that you need to take for effective restaurant management during COVID-19.

1. Pay Attention to Your Takeout and Delivery Services. Steps to Survive COVID-19 Pandemic

Delivery and takeout are now more common than ever. This is because most people feel safer eating at home and it also reduces the number of people they have to interact with. If your restaurant doesn’t have a quick and efficient delivery service, you’ll quickly fall behind during the pandemic.

Make sure you have a strict monitoring system on which employee is preparing the meal and delivering it. All payments should be cashless as well. Reassure your customers with options such as dropping off orders at a distance from their door and having delivery persons wear gloves, masks, and regularly use sanitizer.

Apps such as Deliveroo, Foodhub, and Uber Eats are also great third-party services that you can team up with to make your delivery services smoother.

If one of your employees is in charge of deliveries and interacting with customers, keep a careful watch on their wellbeing. If they start to show any symptoms, make sure they take time off to get checked and do not come in to work during this time.

If you’re allowing customers to come in for takeout, have rules such as only allowing 4-5 customers to enter at a time and make sure the employees who work with them change their gloves and sanitize between orders.

You can even set up an area outside the restaurant where customers can come to pick up their orders so they don’t have to come inside.

2. Limit Dine-Ins

It’s hard to run a restaurant where you don’t have the pleasure of hearing customers entering, chatting, calling for waiters, and creating a generally pleasant environment. It might seem demotivating to work without seeing your customers—and there are probably loyal customers who would love to visit and dine-in.

You can solve this problem by allowing dine-ins but reducing how many customers can visit at a time. Increase the spaces between tables and encourage customers to reserve tables beforehand to reduce waiting lines.

For added measure, try to arrange outdoor seating. Now only does this allow you to have more customers at a time, dining outdoors reduces the chances of germs spreading. A closed, indoor space has higher chances of spreading a virus because of the limited ventilation.

Click here to ream what are the 4 Types Of Customers You Will Meet While Running Restaurants After COVID-19 Recovery

3. Increase Your Hygiene Practices

It’s obvious that you are taking extra precautions with cleaning countertops, sanitizing all surfaces, and instructing your employees to follow set hygiene guidelines. This is one of the most crucial aspects of surviving the pandemic, which is why we felt the need to bring it up anyway.

If your restaurant does come up with a COVID-19 case, it can be extremely worrying for your customers. Not only will many days have to pass before you can safely open up again, customers will still be cautious and hesitant. Rather than risking an incidence such as this, take as many sanitization precautions as you can.

Additionally, limit the use of dishware, cups, and utensils that aren’t disposable. Encourage customers to bring their own cups and offer them a discount if they do so. Reusing dishware is safer for the environment and less costly than single-use plastics, but to limit the spread of germs, you should try resorting to disposable utensils and asking customers to bring their own when dining in. Keep reading the steps to survive COVID-19 Pandemic.

Read more on The Essential Hospitality Cleaning Products in the New Normal

4. Stay in Touch with Your Customers

Many of your customers have been at home for months now. They are scared and worried about the implications of the virus and need constant reassurance to know that you are functioning according to the SOPs.

To ensure your customers are aware of the steps you are taking, record videos of your kitchen staff at work, your delivery and takeout employees, and the number of customers dining in. Let your customers know that you are more than willing to show them what’s going on behind the scenes to clear any doubts they have about hygiene.

This isn’t the only reason you need to connect with your customers. Without regular dining in, many people don’t know what new additions you have on your menu or the deals that you’ve come up with. Use your social media platforms to promote new menu items and market deals.
Let your customers know that all your deals are applicable on takeout and deliveries as well.
If you’re worried that customers may not wear masks or socially distance themselves when sitting at the tables, put up posts on your page detailing how important it is for your business that everyone upholds their responsibilities.

5. Take Care of Your Employees

Your employees form the heart and sole of your business. If they feel demotivated, unwell, or financially stressed, they are not going to work with commitment and dedication. If you are struggling with supporting your employees during this difficult time, make sure you keep an open line of communication so they can talk to you about issues they are having.

Make sure you award them with the days off they need to recover in case of an illness. Customer service can be a stressful job and working through the pandemic has only made it more challenging. Similarly, your employees who work in the kitchen must also be provided with the emotional support they need when there are several orders to prepare at once.

Final Words...

Working with SOPs and being responsible with preparing food can be exhausting but is a necessity. If you keep your employees content and follow the steps mentioned above, you’ll hopefully be back in full swing once the pandemic has passed and businesses can properly resume. Hope you find there steps to survive COVID-19 Pandemic.

You’ll also be able to survive during this turbulent time. 

Do you want to know more? Browse through our blogs to receive more trade secrets. You can also hire our restaurant consultants for professional assistance.

New eBook Reveals How To Successfully Open A Restaurant… Free E-Book!


About the Author

Massimo’s career has grown up through the restaurant world, starting as a waiter through to high-end restaurant openings within an operational management capacity. This depth of experience has allowed him to understand the business from both a guest’s needs to what a team needs, giving him the benefit of an all-rounded view and approach to problem solving.