As restaurants reopen in a world living with COVID-19 precautions, many operators face limits on dining room seating and should expect to continue a strong takeout and delivery presence.
The success achieved during this time is critical to maintaining a revenue stream and kitchen staffing as the crisis abates. Best practices to consider include:
Market your takeout and delivery. Signage, social media, your website and word of mouth can keep your business top of mind for people looking for a break from cooking at home.
Streamline your menu. You’re in a battle to survive a sudden, unprecedented rough patch. Limiting the menu to foods that travel well or specialties your business is known for is the best way to keep regulars calling.
Try family-size meals. Households are all under one roof. Offer family-style meals that feed a crowd. Serve them in foil pans to be shared at the table. And don’t overlook beverages and desserts.
Promote your commitment to safety. People coming to your restaurant for pickup or getting delivery want to know the steps you’re taking toward cleaning and sanitation. If you are doing touchless payments, sanitizing counters after every pickup, or sealing delivery packages for security, make sure to communicate that.
Show your creative community spirit. Try adopting a hospital or a doctor’s office to help feed caregivers. A restaurant in California encouraged guests to donate toward catered meals for healthcare workers. The result was a program that supplied more than 2,000 catered meals to local hospital departments.