What will it take for your restaurant to succeed after the COVID-19 shutdowns? For those of you who were able to hang in there, you are tired. The daily struggles and stress to keep your business going has taken its toll on you and your team. When the doors open, the stress will still be there, but there will be more activity. So what will it take to win the next battle?
There are a couple of things we do know that will happen in phase two. It will all start with consumer perceptions. Your customers will be hesitant until advanced testing or a vaccine is found. Can you blame them? They just want to be safe. Social distancing will change your dine in traffic and the revenue you get from the floor. Digital marketing to communicate with your customers and drive sales will be key. Studies are showing that online ordering may be as much as 60% of your sales as we move forward. To make your kitchen run more efficiently, you should look at a reduced menu of your best sellers with LTO’s your kitchen can execute with reduced labor. Family meals and small house parties will bring in higher check averages as your customers decided to get takeout with friends rather than going to a restaurant. Managing the back of the house to reduce food cost and inventory levels will be critical during the next year.
Tomorrow Belongs to the People Who Prepare for it Today
The next step is to decide if you can make it. These will be difficult decisions to make. Looking at the combination of fixed and variable cost will take time and effort. A major part of the process is understanding your breakeven cost. This link to understanding your breakeven cost is a valuable tool to rethinking your business plan. Clearly managing your prime cost is the next layer to add in which requires a solid plan of inventory management, food purchasing and labor controls. Once these are in place, your marketing plan under the new guidelines will forecast your revenue to assist in your decisions. In many ways it is like starting up all over again as you learn day by day.
As you can see, managing the data from all of these activities will be critical to your success. The margin for error is slim, but achievable with sound performance metrics to guide you. The next nine to twelve months will be tough as medicine works towards a cure for Covid. You are strong and you can do it with proper guidance.
At CORE Restaurant Marketing, we have helped many restaurants design and execute business strategies that achieve positive results. Our mission is simple, how can we help restaurants succeed. The services we offer and the experts we utilize have generated proven results for restaurants of all types. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information or to schedule a time to speak with one of our restaurant marketing coaches.