To survive over the long haul, a restaurant must reinvent itself periodically, jumping from the flattening end of one business performance curve to the rising slope of another. Very few restaurants make the leap successfully when the time comes. That’s because they start the reinvention process too late.
1) Reinvent & re-organize the menu
The menu is the most important internal marketing and sales tool a restaurant has to market its food and beverage to customers. It is the only piece of printed advertising that you are virtually 100 percent sure will be read by the guest. Once placed in the guest’s hand, it can directly influence not only what they will order, but ultimately how much they will spend. A well-designed menu can educate and entertain the customer as well as be a communication, cost control, and marketing tool for your restaurant. The menu is designed to help the guest decide what to order. When you strategically place menu items on the menu, you will sell more of them than if you placed them randomly. Well-designed menus market the food the restaurant prepares best and wants to sell by making those items stand out from the others.
2) Improve your online order taking and delivery business
Where possible, restaurants have pivoted to delivery or takeout models as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. As much as 25% of restaurants were forced to shutter completely during the pandemic. Once optional for some, takeout and delivery is now a critical lifeline for restaurants. The restaurants that have survived have been the ones that were already well-positioned for—or pivoted swiftly—to delivery options to meet consumer needs. To do this effectively, start by offering your online ordering through your own platform. This eliminates the extremely high levels of commission fees wed to third party vendors and your restaurant gets to be in charge of its own marketing and promotions to drive sales. Establishing an in-house ordering system on your website ensures that you keep more money for food orders since you’re no longer giving a chunk of your profit to a middleman.
3) Reshape your restaurants operational design
In a post COVID-19 world, restaurant design must evolve and adapt to the new normal. With the evolution of the hospitality design, Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC) systems will need to adapt to the changing architecture. Additionally, restaurants will experience a significant shift in technology and customer service. In this article, we discuss how restaurant design is changing as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and highlight how we must rethink the consumer-facing footprint to make the restaurant experience more sustainable and bolster consumer confidence. Good mechanical design starts with ventilation, filtration and proper airflow relation. All help with reducing the spread of viruses. Mechanical systems should be designed to code minimum ventilation rates. However, enhanced ventilation rates should be considered. Airflow within restaurants should flow from cleaner sources to dirtier sources – from dining areas to kitchens, restrooms to 1/4 pick-up / delivery spaces and more. Confined and/or congested areas in restaurants are also a concern. In restrooms all fixtures should be touchless and fully exhausted restroom stalls that have full height dividers will provide a more sanitary environment. In both restrooms and near the entrance where people congregate, upper air / ceiling UV lights may be a potential consideration.