Managing a Restaurant in the New Normal? Here's What You Need

Sep 18, 2020 03:48 PM EDT | By Ernest Hamilton

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Managing a Restaurant in the New Normal? Here's What You Need

(Photo : Managing a Restaurant in the New Normal? Here's What You Need)

COVID-19 changed the world in too many ways to count. Frontline medical workers have been working in hospitals overtime for months to keep people alive. The pandemic is an international health crisis that has also caused unemployment to soar and left economies reeling. 

How is the restaurant industry faring? Better than you may think! The restaurant industry is a pillar of the economy, and eating out is a staple of society. Here are the things managers need to know to make a restaurant succeed in the "new normal."

The Numbers Are Encouraging

When COVID-19 started in March, it devastated the restaurant industry. Overall, across restaurant types in the US, sales were down by about 79%. Given the restaurant industry's notoriously tight margins in ordinary times, this rate would have been wildly unsustainable.

Thankfully there was a bounce back. With restaurants cutting seating by 50%, they have found innovative ways to sanitize their premises, deliver food, or offer takeout. By June, sales are still 30% lower than they usually are, but this is a cautiously reassuring sign of a bounce back.

The 40% rise in delivery-related shifts being scheduled since March is a good sign that there are ways to pull through. 

People are as hungry as ever. The numbers suggest there's light at the end of the tunnel.

Innovation and Boldness 

So long as people feel safe, they will continue to support local restaurants. The trick is to deliver food in whatever way gives people the most reassurance - do whatever it takes to ensure they are comfortable.

Some restaurants have pivoted to delivering food-box subscriptions. Others have moved to sell groceries. Of course, curbside pickup and takeout options have been the standard.

While the weather is still nice, some cities are closing lanes of traffic to cars, so that restaurants can extend patio seating. 

Smart Tech

Managers need a positive and determined attitude, but smart technology that helps restaurants operate efficiently really takes things to another level. This restaurant feasibility study shows how vital it can be to save even 1-3% on labor costs, historically one of the largest drains on a restaurant.

Employee scheduling software produces better schedules faster, reducing wasted time at work. Plus, they keep teams in touch in natural ways that let them quickly find someone to cover for a shift. Restaurants looking for smart ways to run a modern, flexible restaurant business need all the automated help they can get.

Like the restaurant industry itself, employees are dealing with the stress of this uncertain time. Having smart tech to give them and your restaurant flexible but firm control over scheduling is a win for everybody.

Civilization has had restaurants for centuries, and they aren't going away now. The priority must be society's overall collective health. This means keeping restrictions on restaurants in place in regions where the pandemic hasn't slowed down. But even in a pandemic, people still want to buy food from restaurants - managers need boldness, new ideas, and the right technology to feed communities safely.

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