This is an unprecedented situation, and while everyone is struggling to navigate these challenging waters, the restaurant and hospitality industry is especially hard-hit.
What can you do to help your staff, manage your operations, and keep the lights on – even in the dark? Below we share some suggestions. Plus, Eater has also compiled a list of relief funds and grants available to restaurants that may be helpful during this time.
Stay top-of-mind with your loyal guests through social media. Some chefs are taking to Instagram to share recipes and tips for making favorite dishes at home, which keeps the community connected and supported.
For some restaurants, packaging excess inventory into “meal kit” boxes can help generate some extra revenue, provide relief to guests stuck at home in self-isolation, and keep food from going to waste. Share tips and recipes for how to use up these ingredients to help customers further connect with your brand.
Where that’s not possible, consider donating surplus inventory to food banks and local relief centers. While helping those who need it gain access to food during this time, you may also qualify for a tax break.
To create added incentive for gift card purchases, consider adding a “boost” to purchases made in a certain timeframe. An extra 10-20% bonus can further encourage customers to purchase gift cards for a future date. Some restaurants are also using proceeds from gift cards to create a relief fund for their employees.
Where grocery stores have become a collection of empty shelves, many guests will be relying on their favorite dishes from your restaurant to boost spirits, provide sustenance, and break up the monotony of self-quarantine.
For delivery to apartment complexes, consider asking customers to accept deliveries at the front door, to limit person-to-person contact.
For pick-up, consider adding curb-side delivery as an option, to help limit exposure for your team and guests alike. Antonelli’s Cheese Shop got creative with curb-side delivery, and this innovation is helping their customers and teams alike.
Patrons: How to help your favorite restaurants stay afloat
As a guest, there are many ways you can help your local favorites.
Nervous about eating out when social distancing is encouraged? For certain venues, take-out and delivery options are available and help support the restaurant industry.
Had to cancel a reservation? Consider purchasing a gift card. This provides revenue to help immediate cash flow and gives you something to look forward to on the other side of this ordeal.
If your favorite restaurant is still open, call ahead to ensure they can accommodate your table given reduced capacity. And of course, helping to contain the spread and flatten the curve is critical. If you are feeling even slightly unwell, switch the reservation to a takeout order.
Don’t forget the power of positivity during this time. Take to social media to show your love and support for your local restaurant community. Consider reaching out to your representatives to advocate for an emergency relief package that will help support restaurant workers at this time.
Keeping Everyone on the Same Page
Share CDC recommended procedures and mandates to keep your teams and guests safe.
If you are already a customer of HotSchedules, now powered by Fourth, don’t forget to leverage our various communication tools. One feature, in particular, could be especially useful right now: The Broadcast Message. This will help you communicate across all locations (or within each location) to all team members by job role. For more on how to utilize these features and others, please view our message to customers here: A Message on Coronavirus COVID-19
We’re here to help. Below are some resources you may find helpful to share with your team:
If you have questions about how your HotSchedules now powered by Fourth solution can help you manage these changes, please don’t hesitate to reach out.
Recently, we were fortunate enough to be able to sit down to a virtual chat with two independent restaurant owners who are trying to navigate the re-opening process in the world of COVID. David Cash, owner of Dallas-based Smoky Rose and Dan Fugman, owner of Denver-based Max Gill and Grill, shared their experiences and how they are preparing for the new normal.
Many full-service restaurateurs are cautiously evaluating consumer interest and local health updates to determine when they will open their doors. As you wrestle with the question of when to reopen your business, here are a few tips for bringing your team back on to HotSchedules.
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