FRANCHISE HERALD
Tuesday November 30, 2021

updated - November 30, 2021 Tuesday EST

How Restaurants Can Survive Current Times

Nov 04, 2021 10:29 AM EDT | By David Thompson
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How Restaurants Can Survive Current Times
(Photo : Image by bridgesward from Pixabay )

At the start of the global health crisis, the restaurant industry took a big hit. Some local dining establishments shut down while major food chains saw sales drop to an all-time low. As eating indoors was no longer an option and unemployment rates rapidly declined, restaurant owners, found it challenging to stay afloat. Although that was more than a year ago now, and the world has since "reopened," many local spots are, unfortunately, still trying to recover.

If you're a restaurant owner that's concerned about the future of your business during these uncertain times, you're not alone. Below are a few things you should consider to survive.

Delivery & Curbside Pickup

Not everyone is ready to dine indoors. So, how do you continue reaching your target audience? You offer delivery or curbside pickup options. It's a safe and convenient way for customers to get food without having to put themselves in harm's way. Suppose you can't afford to hire delivery drivers right now. In that case, food delivery service companies like DoorDash and Uber Eats offer affordable options for local restaurants and fast-food chains.

Outdoor Dining

Another option is to allow your customers to eat outdoors. You can place a few tables, chairs, and umbrellas outside your establishment for their convenience. If the weather is colder, you can always invest in outdoor heaters or firepits to keep them nice and cozy.

Promotional Offers

Offering attractive deals can encourage customers to visit your restaurant. Whether you offer a discount on family meals, buy one get one free, or send out coupons, customers will jump at the chance to save a few bucks.

Reduce Operational Costs

If money is tight, it's time to reevaluate your operational costs. Are there ways you can reduce the cost of running your restaurant? You could shop around for more affordable vendors, get an energy audit to determine how you can conserve energy, or purchase a commercial water softener to reduce the damage to your plumbing.

You should also consider food storage and sales. Finding more efficient ways to store food cuts down on waste, which saves you money. Reducing the items on your menu to eliminate things that don't sell well is also ideal.

Staffing

While the last thing you want to do is let go of employees, it may be necessary to keep your restaurant afloat. Evaluate the number of staff you have on a particular shift compared to foot traffic and orders received. If there are periods where sales are minimal, you may want to consider reducing staff or asking them to switch to a busier shift.

Partner With Other Businesses

Restaurants aren't the only businesses suffering right now. Working together can help local owners survive these tricky times. You can come together and host a sidewalk event, share a booth at a community event, or rent extra space. There are also promotional opportunities to consider.

For instance, if your restaurant is located near a cleaner's, you can come up with a deal where customers that purchase $25 or more get a percentage off cleaning services. Business professionals would jump at this sort of opportunity because they frequently dine out and always need their suits cleaned.

Attend Community Events

Finally, restaurant owners should consider stepping outside of their establishment and into the community. It's a great way to build brand recognition, identify potential customers, and earn some money. You can be a vendor at a festival, outdoor concert, street fair, or other community event and score big time.

There's no denying that it hasn't been easy for restaurant owners lately. The goal to keep sales up is often challenged by external events that you can't control. Unfortunately, local establishments are closing every day as they fold under pressure. If you don't want to find your business in a similar situation, you must act now. By using the suggestions listed above, you can save money, build brand recognition, and increase sales, which should help you survive through the good and bad times. 

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