Restaurant Coronavirus Action Plan
How to be resourceful and how to show leadership in uncertain times.. This is in no way going to take away all the risks, but in fact, this is a sure way to help you stay in control to the highest possible level and weather the storm.. While others are freaking out and hiding.. You step in and take initiative.
I decided to write this action plan due to the fact that there is a lot of confusion, uncertainty regarding what are the next steps to take from here. This action plan is in no way belittling the situation or to ignore it as it’s like a fairytale story, we know it’s out there and we know the public health system would struggle if people would continue going about their daily lives as normal like there nothing out there to be cautious about.
Therefore based on research and closely working with our partners and our clients. I wrote this restaurant coronavirus action plan and wanted to make it public for the benefit of all.
20 steps on how to help you manage this situation with what’s available to you and what you can do about it right now.
Let’s start with…
1- Health and Safety
Enforce all the health and safety recommendations and requirements by your local state at your venue. Make sure all the details are well communicated with your team from top to bottom in the hierarchy. Check on things that are getting done as instructed in person…
Expand access to hand sanitizers to your customers and employees and consider the option of the cashier wearing gloves…
Announce your commitment to your community and your employees and the steps your brand is taking and already taken right now to ensure your people and the public safety and well being…
Be it advertising it on social media, website, email and press releases..
Make sure the language used and the tone within the announcement feels like your brand so it resonates with your people.
That way you’re taking initiative and communicating leadership to your people and your customers that you got things under control and that you care about the people that work for you and you care about your customer’s health and safety.
3- The importance of advertising
While you can still take in customers you want to make sure you are still advertising that you are open for business and taking bookings, do not hide from the public eyes, keep your brand on top of mind.
4- Tune in and adapt
Think of other ways you can service your customers, tune in to what’s going on right now and pay attention to how human behavior is adjusting and adapting then adjust and adapt your brand communications, services, and advertising.
5- Delivery or Free Delivery:
I read, heard and know of a tonne of reports that delivery services right now are surging to new records .. If you’re not offering delivery start looking into it if you’re on one delivery platform look into being on all platforms, if you charge for delivery, offer free delivery. Ensure every dish has its own photo on the delivery platform, it will result in more sales
Delivery platforms commitment and responsibility to their partners:
We also ask from the delivery platforms to dramatically cut down on their commissions or remove them completely temporarily for independent restaurants, delivery platforms they are part of our daily lives today and they also can play a big part to ease the impact and to prove they are real partners to those restaurants who entrusted them with their business.
I urge all restaurant owners to reach out to their delivery partners and start negotiating fees asap. Including sending press releases to the media urging delivery platforms to remove their fees or reduce it dramatically.
6- Special menus items, Discounts and Special offers..
Expand your new special dishes to the delivery platforms and advertise their availability on social media and other distribution channels.
Introduce deals, the family offers, individuals packs, maximize the use of every feature, from a first customer discount to ongoing specials and packs..
You may also look into promoting carry out, pick up deals for those are local and willing to pick up.
7- Ghost kitchens
Launch your ghost kitchens on delivery platforms and make sure it’s treated like a real business, every dish must have its own photo, activate the first customer offers such a free delivery or special promotions, don’t just launch any ghost kitchen do your research and see what you can do without having to buy new ingredients or expand your inventory
8- Smaller menus, best selling items
If dine-in is affected in a big way or struggling with keeping your inventory levels under control with hard to get produce items, perhaps run on smaller menus including most popular dishes.
9- Contactless delivery or zero contact delivery
Advertise to your customers that now they can get contactless delivery to ease their concerns and that they now can leave notes with their delivery order like
“If you prefer, you can leave a note in the UberEats app to ask your delivery person to leave your food at the door.”
10- Social distancing, limited seats…
Depending on how affected is your state or country advertising, how you’re managing social distancing by offering limited seats at your restaurant or spacing out tables and seats will send out a positive message to your customers.
11- Mobile order only scenario or menuless table orders
Platforms like Mr. Yum have recently joined the conversation and they’re currently offering their Mr. Yum QR Code stickers for restaurants to be placed on each table where customers can load the menu right from their mobile without the need to touch any physical menu.
If it’s doable and practical, start offering drive-thru where people can place an order beforehand then they can drive-thru to pick it up.
13- Staff control
Manage and optimize your staff levels, be mindful of who you keep at home and who keeps their job. Look at the big picture and social responsibility however don’t go broke for the sake of keeping all your staff on board specifically if you’re an independent restaurant
Depends on how a big deal is cash transactions to your business and if it’s not going to inconvenience a lot of customers, consider accepting cashless payments only and make sure you advertise that to your audience
15- Ending self serve options
Remove all self serve utensils and condiments from your dining room to reduce the risk of community spread.
16- Kerbside pick up
Fine dining restaurants can consider offering Kerbside pick up pre-orders at certain times.
17- Pre-sold gift cards
If people are being put off to dine out more often, then advertise your gift cards as part of your advertising campaigns.
You could also offer them more value for example purchase a $100 gift card for $125 total value for a limited time only.
18- Zoom Cooking classes
Offer remote, Zoom cooking classes where you can still do your cooking classes but done virtually, a lot of live events around the world has been canceled with virtual events options via live streaming, this is another way to keep people entertained at home while introducing more cash to your business.
19- Rent negotiation
Regardless if your rent is up for review or not, reach out to your landlord and explain the situation and ask them if they are willing to contribute with some temporary rent discount until things settle down. If you don’t ask you don’t get.
20- Government grants
Keep close communication with your accountant and ask for more information about the new government business grants such as the coronavirus stimulus package, extended instant asset write off, and how your business can maximize the use of the new grant.
More information can be found here
And most of all keep safe, stay away from the fear-driven media their only objective is to get more ratings, honest journalism with morales is a fairy tale, stay away from the political chatter and stick to getting transparent and accurate information from the world health organization website https://www.who.int/
I hope this action plan will give you some decent direction on where to go from here, get resourceful, doing nothing is not a solution.