Businesses in the hospitality industry have suffered the biggest blow in these unprecedented times. Survival in this business now requires one to think outside the box. Governments have placed rules which require hotels and restaurants to shut down or operate at a lower than the normal capacity to reduce the spread of coronavirus.
Restaurants in some areas have been allowed to reopen under certain regulations. The market is currently tough, but we have to survive in the business to earn a living. My restaurant business is still alive and I am mighty thankful for that. Being able to stay up is due to both luck and some critical things I did. Here are some important tips I use.
Positive Work Environment:
Maintaining a positive attitude is the most important factor in running a positive business. Employees need to see me as a manager with a great attitude towards work. This helps staff to maintain a hopeful and positive mindset when working. Working during this pandemic has not been fun for my employees. I try to always have a positive attitude to improve the morale of my workers at work. Their safety has been paramount to me and, even when I had to trim down, I opted for shift rotation instead of dismissal. This may not be possible for some businesses but it is important to be humane to employees even at the point where they have to be laid off.
We were able to create healthy budgets before the pandemic since we were fully operational. Businesses always adjust their expenses when business is slow. Restaurant businesses slowed down completely over the last year, even coming to a complete stop at some point. This pushed us to cut our expenses and create new budgets to survive. This included not only looking at staffing and production costs but also purchasing some new equipment (see here) to help speed up preparation and assist with the new takeout menu, which would help financially long term.
It was difficult to balance the trimming of expenses and retaining my full workforce. We had our roundtable where reason prevailed and they agreed to a pay cut. Due to the difficulty of balancing expenses and possible income throughout the pandemic, it’s getting harder for restaurants and businesses of all kinds to manage their books, this is potentially one reason why the virtual accounting industry is exploding right now, to ensure business accounts are correct and the business won’t unexpectedly go into a financial meltdown.
Adjust Your Operational Models:
It has been critical that we observe health guidelines for the safety of our customers and ourselves too. Luckily for our establishment, we have ample outdoor space and were able to completely do away with indoor seating even when it was allowed. We serve all our meals outside and have now embraced takeout which we did not offer before. For the first time in our existence, we are also doing home deliveries. We treat the paranoid feeling of those who don’t want to step out as a genuine concern.
Safe Working Environment:
It is important for employees to feel protected from the virus at their workplace. This can be done by following all the directives given to restaurants by the government. I made my working environment safe by making sure everybody had access to safety equipment inadequate supply. I took it upon myself to ensure we are getting quality facemasks. I have also actively taken charge of enforcing safety guidelines both on workers and customers. We never miss a single round of testing and I have allowed anyone who feels like they have been exposed to call in sick and take a test. It may come with some inconveniences, but the assurance of safety to everyone is more important than clocking in for a shift.
You do not only need to make your employees aware of the dangers. You also need to make sure that all the consumers that are visiting your establishment are also safe. Communicating every new security feature that you might have added to the business over a microphone is not the best option. However, installing signs from somewhere like Seton (which can be found at this link) that can help direct the customers and inform them about what needs to be done in an emergency can be an effective safety measure – and, in many places around the world, adequate safety signage is a legal requirement for all commercial buildings. This can also help you avoid unnecessary and frivolous personal injury lawsuits.
This is where many restaurants are getting it wrong. Many restaurants have increased the prices of their meals to cover the losses they incurred when they were closed. Others have increased prices since they now serve fewer people compared to before. I decided to let people enjoy delicious meals at my restaurant at lower prices compared to before the pandemic kicked off. This act has helped my business gain and keep many customers even in these hard times. You should have friendly prices at this time considering that many people now earn less compared to before the coronavirus struck. Although margins will be lower, there is a good chance of increased volume of sales which will fill that gap.
Give People a Reason to Visit Your Restaurant:
The best way to make people return to a restaurant is by giving them a nice experience when they visit. perhaps learn about basic informal formal proper table settings and make your place inviting. Make sure that guests are served delicious meals which will make them desire more. I have advised workers at my restaurant to give guests the utmost services and make sure they enjoy every moment they spend at the restaurant.