CORONAVIRUS: IDEAS ON WHAT A RESTAURANT CAN DO FROM HOME
Due to the Coronavirus, Italian clubs and restaurants were among the first to close by decree. So let's see what restaurateurs can do in this period of enforced inactivity to improve their business
In these days of enforced inactivity caused by the Coronavirus crisis, we all have the chance to think about our companies and seize the opportunities that always occur following a critical situation. Here, then, are some tips for restaurateurs to keep the relationship with their customers and constructively spend their time at home.
What’s wrong with our restaurant?
An examination of conscience never hurts. Now that we have to stay at home, it would be good to ask ourselves: before the Covid-19 stop, were we doing our best?
It is, therefore, essential to consider what hasn’t worked in the past few months.
To do so, we need a little analysis: check your receipts and compare them with the previous months. Can you observe an increase? Well! Ask yourself why. Is this due to the new chef or new supplies? Did you hire a new employee?
Here, analyze what has changed compared to the past and, if it is for the better, hold on to the new resource or the new supply channel, even thinking about a plus in the salary when everything will be over. Or it is the new online service that you have activated, such as reservations, website, and social media manager.
In short, if you were improving, there was a reason, almost undoubtedly internal to your business, so try to understand what it is and do everything to strengthen the new sales channel.
If, on the other hand, you were losing money compared to the same period last year, look for the cause.
If you have changed staff and in recent months you have noticed a sharp decline, ask yourself who is not working at his best and why. Make sure, then, that your employees have all the appropriate tools to work correctly (you could also have Cracco in your kitchen, but if you ask him to cook with poor raw ingredients, it will be useless to have hired him).
If, on the contrary, your turnover has remained the same as in the previous year, well, it is time for you to understand the way to grow. Start from the minimum: don’t you have an adequate online presence? It is time to use the largest existing booking channel, namely the internet, both with online booking tools and with proper care of the website and social pages. Or update the menu, both graphically and with new dishes.
Also, in case you are both owner and chef of a restaurant (or barman of a cocktail bar, etc.), these days at home are essential to experiment with new creations and recipes.
In addition to the turnover, and if this does not give you the necessary information, read the online reviews received. Read them with a clinical eye (although in some cases it is not easy to remain calm) and answer. From them, then, you could get some information, both for what works and regarding the weaknesses of your restaurant.
Keep talking to your customers
In this crisis caused by the Coronavirus infection, your businesses are closed. If you do not have an important presence on the internet now, your activity no longer exists, it has disappeared from the radar of your customers.
If you have social channels but don’t use them, the situation would be the same. As a result, work online and take advantage of this enforced closure to improve your online presence, from your site to your Facebook page.
Once done, continue or, if you have stopped, start communicating little by little. It is the only way you have, at this moment, to say to your customers: “Hey, we’re still here, don’t forget us!”.
Of course, it takes ideas and knowledge to prepare a well-made editorial plan.
A piece of advice, then, on the topics to focus on this situation of infection by Coronavirus (on this subject we will return in a future article): do not pretend that Covid-19 is not there and never has been. Lately, in fact, there are editorial plans that do not take the crisis into account at all, and this is ridiculous. So, think of posts that can be useful to your customers (like your home-made recipes) or invite them to donate for charitable initiatives. Another idea, however, is to send a message of hope: ask customers to book a dinner after the Coronavirus emergency is over.
The delivery: organize and deliver
We have already talked about delivery. It is not for everyone and must be done in the right attitude. If you focus on the territory and your most typical dishes, activating the kitchen only for some recipes and asking your staff to deliver the orders (respecting all the precautions), you may find a new business channel with the home deliveries.
We suggest you do a little test before you start with this service, also because inevitably you will not be extremely efficient immediately.
This post is also available in: Italiano (Italian)