When you’re getting ready to leave your home, how many of you are doing the same mental check that I do now? Keys. Check. Wallet. Check. Mask. Check.
For most of the year, our nation has dealt with the devastation of the COVID-19 pandemic. The mask that we cannot leave the house without has become part of our new reality and a searing reminder that the way we go about our lives and conducting business has changed. No one knows if we’ll “return to normal” or what our new normal may look like when this is all over.
Among other industries in this country, the restaurant industry has been hit the hardest in terms of sales and job losses, according to the National Restaurant Association. The industry has lost more than $185 billion in sales between March and August, and more than 8 million restaurant employees were laid off or furloughed during the same time. These numbers are quite jarring.
There’s so much about the pandemic and its impact on our lives that we cannot control. So, I say, let’s focus on what we can control. Control the Controllables. The restaurants that are surviving, or indeed thriving, during this time are not trying to maintain the status quo or wringing their hands over their circumstances. They are pivoting. They are innovating. They are looking at their business models and finding new and different ways to serve their communities. If you are reading this, and you are unsure about your next steps, keep reading for a few ideas, and contact us for an in-depth discussion about the best ways to pivot your business to survive the pandemic.
Ask yourself what are you doing each day to grow your business? You owe it to yourself and to the people you employ to keep your business operating at a sustainable level.
1. Bring the restaurant to the people. Local and state regulations may limit your dine-in capacity, but not your delivery, take out, and catering.
2. Use your social media to leverage your strengths. Among the advantages independent restaurants have over chains is that they can use social media in a way that drills down the audience to the people you serve. Speak to your community.
3. Your staff is the ultimate asset. Your employees, from managers to the busing staff, are invested in your success. Your growth not only improves their financial situation, but if you manage well, they also support you as a leader. They will have your back and promote for you. They could have killer ideas that can help. All you have to do is ask and show appreciation.
4. Adapt your menu. Trim items that do not sell and highlight what does. Also, bringing seasonality into your menu that will help keep your offerings fresh.
5. Love your customers a little more. As simple as this sounds, it is imperative we treat our customers better regardless of how the customers get their food. If you give them 5-star service, they will reciprocate by returning and telling their friends.
As I said earlier, Nisa Consulting Group has the insight and ideas to customize a plan for your business to succeed beyond COVID, Contact us for an in-depth discussion about the particulars of your circumstances. We hear this all the time now, probably because it’s true. We’re in this together, and we’re stronger together.