The new normal for restaurant service requires attention to best practices.
The president has extended federal guidance on social distancing through April. This means the COVID-19 prohibitions on dining room seating are likely to continue, and restaurant operators should expect to continue takeout and delivery-only service models.
The success achieved during the upcoming weeks is critical to maintaining a revenue stream and kitchen staffing when the crisis abates. Best practices to consider include:
Market your takeout and delivery. Signage, social media, your website and word of mouth can keep your business top of mind for people looking for a break from cooking at home.
Streamline your menu. You’re in a battle to survive a sudden, unprecedented rough patch. Limiting the menu to foods that travel well or specialties your business is known for is the best way to keep regulars calling.
Try family-size meals. Households are all under one roof. Offer family-style meals that feed a crowd. Serve them in foil pans to be shared at the table. And don’t overlook beverages and desserts.
Promote your commitment to safety. People coming to your restaurant for pickup or getting delivery want to know the steps you’re taking toward cleaning and sanitation. If you are doing touchless payments, sanitizing counters after every pickup, or sealing delivery packages for security, make sure to communicate that.
Show your creative community spirit. Try adopting a hospital or a doctor’s office to help feed caregivers. A restaurant in California encouraged guests to donate toward catered meals for healthcare workers. The result was a program that supplied more than 2,000 catered meals to local hospital departments.