Where do go from here? Obviously, it has been bittersweet. Lets dive in some more.
Unfortunately many had to close their doors due to some of the following:
- Volume of business
- Inability to set up outdoor seating
- Leasing not owning.
- Supply chain issues forcing prices upward
- Minimum wage increases
- Digital technology not in place
- Delivery costs
- No social media presence
- QR codes to view the menu’s limited selections
The people who did manage to survive COVID did it by:
- Having the ability to set up outdoor dining
- Owned not leased (not necessarily for all)
- Digital technology in place
- QR codes helped with the perception of sanitary issues
- In-house delivery service or negotiated better terms with 3rd party services
- More focused on setting up online ordering websites
- Social media presence
- Met minimum wage requirements and/or offered perks
- Opportunity to take over closed operations with solid infrastructure with no key money because of above gained market share
Moving Forward from the COVID Years
Here are a few things that restaurants can do moving forward:
Renegotiate outdoor seating permits
Some towns are allowing some are not. Those who aren’t may require local consumer support the argument being that it will take many years, if ever, to make up the losses from COVID.
Get back to real menus in the customer’s hand
The QR code thing was great, but only good for the technology advanced not for seniors, who is the consumers with the most disposable cash. From a marketing strategy scrolling your phone limited the ability to make selections and most would select something familiar. We recommend waterproof menu paper or heavyweight cardstock paper
QR code for menu marketing is affecting gross sales
If you have the ability to go back into your system and pull reports pre-COVID on your appetizer sales and overall variety of items sold you will see some differences.
Negotiate delivery fees with third-party delivery services
Now their sales have dropped since the COVID rush is over they may be more animable.
Keep sanitary efforts in effect the consumer will always appreciate that.
Maintain your outgoing and online ordering service
Invest in a phone service to process orders. Those habits of online ordering and pick-up have been established during COVID and our society loves the convenience.
Drive Through Ordering
Many chains are only signing leases that offer drive-through windows. This suggests the consumer is still looking for convenience and perceived health issues.