Coronavirus, Round 2: A Restaurant Survival Plan

Use the lessons of 2020 to prepare for a second wave of dining limits and possible closures.
A restaurant worker hangs a "Closed due to Coronoavirus" sign on the door

Businesses are experiencing a new round of uncertainty as coronavirus cases rise in many places. The pandemic’s latest surge is forcing restaurants in some areas to close or limit indoor dining with little warning or time to plan. 

Here are things you should consider to make sure you’re prepared in case your business is affected. 

Stay tuned to what’s happening 

  • Connect with businesses in your area to share best practices
    • Mobile ordering
    • Contactless payment
    • Curbside pickup
    • Outdoor dining 
  • Know the guidelines and regulations in your area and review often as they change frequently.  
  • Discuss situations with the public health department.

Consider contact tracing

  • Decide if contact tracing is required or appropriate in your area.
  • Choose the best way to collect customer information.
  • Train your staff how to collect names and numbers (or addresses) of guests.
  • Assure customers of privacy protections and how you secure their data

Inform employees

  • Encourage self-reporting if employees have a positive coronavirus test. 
  • Assign someone to contact employees and answer concerns. 

Inform customers

  • Over-communicate and be transparent about what your business is doing. 
  • Update Facebook, your website, Google and other sources where your hours, menu and business information are posted.  
  • Have guidelines and assignments on how to reply to posts. 
  • Videos are very impactful. Consider one to show how you are keeping your restaurant clean and safe. 
  • Let your customers and employees know what you are doing when you close, such as deep-cleaning, refreshed decor, new menu items, etc. 

Be prepared to shift your business model

  • If you close, but are able to continue with takeout and delivery, market these services frequently so consumers know.  
  • Look at ways to streamline efficiency and create procedures so you can respond quickly to business changes. 
  • If you pivoted to a takeout menu in the spring, consider going back to that menu or specials (such as family meals).


  • Be aware of upcoming expenses and your cash flow situation.
  • If you received money from the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), contact your financial advisor to learn how this disruption in business will affect that program. 


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