It’s safe to say that the COVID-19 pandemic has changed the way the world operates, and it’s even safer to say the restaurant industry has been one of the most heavily impacted fields of business. The endless cycle of closings and reopenings has tossed the restaurant industry on its head. So following a year of unpredictability in an already declining market, what’s the key to not only keeping your restaurant open, but growing it? These tips may help.
Be Health Conscious
The necessity for healthy eating is growing rapidly. 2020 was a landmark year for plant-based diets, not to mention the health strides taken by the meat industry. Due to the pandemic, Tyson, one of the largest mass-meat corporations in the country, reported a 43% reduction in pork production and 25% reduction in beef production, leading to a 62% increase in locally branded meat. COVID-19 outbreaks at mass slaughterhouses opened the door for small-scale farmers to offer their non-GMO, ready-to-go livestock as a cleaner solution to halted production of meat. So how can your business take advantage of these trends? Consider switching to locally sourced meats. You’ll attract more fitness-conscious customers while supporting local small businesses. And don’t forget to double up on your greens!
Make it Memorable
The only certainty in 2021 is likely going to be its uncertainty. Foot traffic will be erratic throughout the year so creating a memorable dining experience is going to be more important than ever. With limited customer contact, how can you keep your clients coming back? The most important thing to remember is first impressions matter. Making sure your restaurant’s initial presentation is spot on is more crucial than ever. Taking small steps – like placing hand sanitizer stations in entryways or putting a good health department rating in the front window – lets the customer know right away that you value their health and safety. With limited in-person dining, now is also the best time to consider switching it up with your decor. According to a study by Dartmouth University, greenery can be directly related to positive dining experiences, so especially in the age of outdoor dining, plants are a great way to add a bit of life to your restaurant.
Stay Up-to Date with Ordering Options
The third-party restaurant delivery takeover made just about everyone rethink the way food is ordered. In fact, 59% of consumers reported using non-traditional meal-purchasing systems in 2020. If you can make ordering food as simple as opening an app and having the meal of your choice delivered straight to your door, how else can we simplify the ordering process? Ordering in today’s day and age can be more contactless than ever. From tabletop monitors to QR code online menus to handheld payment solutions, ordering food is as easy as a tap or swipe. No more running tickets back and forth, losing checks left and right. In fact, more than half of all consumers are using nontraditional dining services like curbside pick-up or delivery, so it is vital that you stay up-to-date with today’s alternative ordering options.
2020 completely changed the rules of the game for restaurants across the country. These changes, however, might be the best thing to happen to the restaurant industry in ages. Restrictions have provided the industry with the opportunity to revolutionize the way it operates. From concepts as small as using outdoor dining to attract customers to ideas as big as totally remodelng the way orders are made and processed, simply keeping up with the changes might be exactly what was needed to take your business to the next level.
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