The recent coronavirus crisis has affected many industries. But one that has been hit the most is hospitality, especially restaurants. Some major fast-food chains are still allowing customers to order take-out or pick up orders at their drive-thru windows. But there are hundreds of fine dining establishments, cafes, delis and bakeries that are facing hardships now.
Three Ways Businesses in the Hospitality Industry is Staying Afloat During the COVID-19 Outbreak
The news on the coronavirus pandemic is updating each day. Restaurant owners are unsure when they will be able to open their doors to the public once again. So, they must get creative and find new ways to survive during the current shutdown.
Offer No-Contact Delivery Services
Most hospitality businesses require a lot of customer contact. However, it is time to get creative! Restaurants that were once not offering delivery services are now allowing their customers to order food and have it delivered to their homes. Major pizza restaurant chains have adapted to no-contact deliveries. We are also seeing smaller establishments now offering take-out or carry-out options to their customers. This is an excellent way to keep a restaurant going without having your customers dine-in during this time when social distancing is a must.
It’s a good idea to also look into more options for delivery services outside of simply hiring a new driver. Uber Eats has recently announced its plans to help support independent restaurant owners. They are working to help with the increased demand for food delivery services for more than 100,000 independent restaurants throughout the United States and Canada. The company has waived the cost of their delivery services and have also improved their marketing tactics.
Start a Gift Card or Merchandise Promotion
It’s always a good idea to look at the positive side of the situation. This isn’t going to last forever and your loyal customers are sure to come back to your establishment as soon as they are able. Many customers in hospitality are loyal to their favorite establishments. Treat them to a special deal by offering special gift card promotions now that they can use in the future. Offer discounts on your best-selling combos or dishes and encourage customers to purchase gift cards to look forward to when we can all say goodbye to social distancing for good. If your restaurant sells merchandise such as T-shirts or other accessories, this is a great time to promote those items as well.
Do Research, Check Out Webinars, And Support Your Fellow Small Business Owners and hospitality workers
There is plenty of help available for all types of small business owners. This includes those who are in the hospitality industry. Webinars are held daily by those in the restaurant business. These webinar sessions discuss topics including strategic decisions for managing daily business operations. Viewers can also get tips if they are considering employer legal compliance. If you are in great financial need, you can research how to take out a small business loan. Or find out what you can do to help out other restaurant owners in your area.
This could also be a good time to start thinking about any improvements you would like to make to your restaurants. Perhaps you want to offer a different type of cuisine. Maybe you want to continue offering delivery options after the COVID-19 pandemic is over. Companies such as Rouxbe, which is an online culinary training program, and Chowly, a restaurant technology company, can help out in both of these areas.