The past year hasn’t been easy for anyone. From schools to restaurants to parks everything has been shut down for an indefinite period. The unexpected closures and the lack of certainty surrounding everything led to a lot of disastrous decisions and horrendous problems for many business owners. Many people gave up on their employees, many people gave up their rental spaces and other things and a great many of us had to give up on our dreams.
While it may have been a really good time for a lot of people to start working on something new and peculiar, if anything that a restaurant owner wished for was the opening of their livelihood again. It was a great opportunity to take a different approach to our traditional models but the general fear that encompassed the whole society led to a lot of people resisting even new and more safe options to make sure that food was delivered to the customers door step. So many restaurant owners had to opt for a complete closure or start making food from home or any option that would make the customers feel more safe.
As we are now approaching a post-covid era it is essential that we prepare ourselves for reopening. By post-covid we definitely don’t mean that it’s over but maybe with the vaccine in place and strict SOP’s we may be able to start normal life once again. Let’s find out how you can reopen your restaurant in this new normal!
- Reach Out To Old Contacts
Reaching out to old contacts means that if you had to let go of your employees and vendors it’s time to get back in touch with them. As you see the situation calming down a little and your local government making some concessions it’s the perfect time to contact everyone since everyone is going to be looking for work. Make up to your employees by offering a little more for a little less or make long term promises that make them stick by you. You may have been in their bad books if you had to let them go but there’s still time to make the situation better. In addition, reach out to old customers, family and friends who can help restart the business by either promoting it or coming to dine in or take away more frequently.
- Update Your Menu
This is one of the most common tricks in the books when you are looking to bounce back. Introducing something interesting and unique in your menu is a very smart tactic to attract customers. It won’t be about the taste as much as it would be about the curiosity of having something new. You have to understand that people too have been locked in their houses for way too long and they are looking for something refreshing and fun. You can also revamp your restaurant a little to give it an attractive interior design. Create a fresh environment in your dine area. Include something like love music or dance or any games for your guests to keep them engaged and happy to be coming back.
Focus On Digital Marketing
Not just on digital marketing but put a great deal of focus on general marketing techniques in order to make sure that your community is well aware that you are geeting back into the business. And back into the business with something new and exciting, create suspense for them with marketing strategies so that customers are excited to visit you once you reopen. Social media has given you the most appropriate medium to stay in touch with your customers. Try paid ads on social media forums like Instagram, Facebook etc where it’s easy to target your market. If your budget allows, hire a digital marketing firm and hopefully you’ll see a positive result.
Prepare For The New Normal
Restaurants may be reopening and things may be going back to normal but still maintaining social distance and following SOPs is essential to remain Corona Free! Arrange your tables in such a way that each table is distanced as per the local requirements. Put in a system of frequent sanitization and cleaning. Encourage your customers to start making reservations so that you can schedule your cleaning routines in between. Make sure your staff is wearing a mask at all times and making as less physical contact with customers as possible. Additionally place sanitizers on tables and at the entrance make sure that everyone is wearing a mask, you can allow it to be taken off once people are on their tables.
Promote Contact Less Take Out And Delivery
Despite the fact that we are reopening restaurants we must be prepared for the worst. In case of another deadly wave ans closure set up an effective system in place and make sure you are advertising your safety protocols to your customers so that even when push comes to shove they don’t hesitate ordering from you. Make a transparent system for your customers in order to foster better and long lasting relationships with them.
In the end what really matters is doing everything at your own pace and easing into the process of reopening. If the government has lifted off certain instructions it doresnt mean you have to dive right in. Take it slow so that you do your best and your reopening is fruitful for your restaurant. We wish you all the best!