COVID-19 Restaurant Closures

 

As the state and federal government continue to stretch the time for mandated closures of non-essential businesses, and restaurant patrons continue to practice safe social distancing, restaurants across the nation are left wondering how they’ll survive during this pandemic without the ability to open their doors and serve guests. Since the shutdowns began, we’ve seen a handful of creative ideas to help restaurants attract guests, while complying with the government’s orders and keeping the general public safe. Here are the top 4 most lucrative approaches we’ve seen to date:

#1: Third Party Delivery Services & Hiring Delivery Drivers

 

We’ve heard many clients say they could never translate their menu into delivery, or it just doesn’t work for them, it’s not their shtick, and so on and so forth. We hear you; we’ve spoken at length about delivery services countless times in our Resource Center and determining if delivery services fit not only within your brand but also if and how it fits into your budgeting and cash management strategies. Here’s the deal – we’re not in normal circumstances right now. At this moment delivery services, whether you love or hate them, can be a lifeline when you’ve been forced to shut down your dining room; You need to market to everyone possible, and they have the best infrastructure already in place for doing so.

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Using normalized data by zip codes, we’ve created a BI Model that analyzes both the various Gross Sales vs % of Curb Side sales trends so we can effectively demonstrate what a person can expect when considering taking on this endeavor.

If this is of interest to you, and you’re already an RSI Client, please send a SR regarding Website, and we can discuss it with you if this is your best option. If you’re not an RSI Client and this is of interest to you – reach out now and we’d love to chat about your options!

Alternatively, if you know you’re absolutely not going to thrive utilizing a Third Party Delivery Service, keep in mind that you can hire delivery drivers if that’s the route you feel is best for you. The challenge is how restaurants can hire quickly and hire safely at scale without putting human resources and the public at risk. As people practice social distancing to avoid contracting COVID-19, having the right technology is a must for faster and safer hiring practices. Short online applications, video interviewing, electronic onboarding and beyond is critical to enable fast, effective hiring. Read more about how to hire delivery drivers during this time.

#2: Remind people that you’re local

 

People LOVE to support their local brands. Remind them that supporting your restaurant is helping to save the local brands. Especially if you’re a franchise, it’s crucial that you remind your guests that you’re locally owned. While the battle cry to dine local is fantastic, we’ve unfortunately seen franchisees get a bad rap over the fact that folks don’t realize that they are in fact, locally owned! Make sure you’re promoting this fact through all of your social channels and partnerships.

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#3: Foodtruck Owners

 

We’ve seen many folks go into family neighborhoods and strike gold. Since most everybody is currently working from home, hitting the neighborhoods has provided a jackpot for a nice boost for their businesses.

    • Create some buzz around your food truck by announcing across social media what times you’ll be in specific neighborhoods
    • Post your menu so that everyone can see and plan ahead for their meal schedules in the following days
    • Create a special hashtag for your food + social-distancing so people can tag your business while they post pictures eating your food – a safe distance away from everyone else
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#4: First Responder Discounts

 

Last, but most certainly not least, we have a group of restaurants who got together, and each was designated a First Responder Night for takeout, delivery, and curbside pickup. All meals on the restaurants’ assigned night for (Fire, Police, Medical, Mental Health professionals etc.) were discounted. This allowed each restaurant to participate equally in assisting its VERY DESERVING local heroes!

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Just remember, while the restaurant industry may be down right now, we’re not out! Working together to come up with creative ideas to help curb the burn of the pandemic is what will push us through to the end. The more we help each other, the more we ultimately help ourselves! If you’ve seen any successful creative ideas you’d like to share, please do; seeing stories of positivity and success are always welcomed at times like this.