Great food, service and ambiance are a must for a restaurant to flourish. With COVID-19, these clauses have certainly updated and are just not enough. With all these things still being there, what would bring in a crowd to your restaurant? Safety comes first and it is equally important for your customers to know that their concerns are being taken care of.
Here is a list of 12 ways you can reassure your diners that you are up to the task and ready to serve….
1) Sanitize the premises:
This is sought of a given! Sanitizing the entire restaurant facility right from the kitchen, the sitting area, the reception is the first very step a restaurant needs to follow while reopening.
Cleaning is something they used to follow every day and will do so but sanitizing is crucial to kill the potential bacteria and viruses lying on the surfaces.
Each and every surface needs to be cleaned and sanitized before starting the service counter. Parts that are not used often like a storeroom or the back lobby of the restaurant need also to be taken care of.
Make sure to use the right sanitizer that is effective on the surfaces and let it absorb properly. The ideal process would be to clean everything and then sanitize. Any item bought from the outside like raw material for food preparation also needs to be properly washed and then used to be served.
2) Let your customers know that you are reopening:
Your customers and the crowd in general needs to know that you are now open for service and there are several ways to do so…
Firstly, put it on your website so if anybody visits it, they know that you are now open for service. Connect with your customers through a Newsletter or social media letting them know that you are reopening… Social Media now gives you to reach masses easily and in an impactful way. It goes without saying that you need to pick the right image, content and time to promote this and ensure that it is viewed by a maximum number of people.
Many restaurants also have digital signage which they can use to grab more attention and let the passerby crowd know that you are now open to take orders.
3) Adapt QR code to load menu and get orders
Paper menus potentially carry more health affecting germs and bacteria since they tend to pass on from one person to another. Considering the times, the best would be to have QR Codes menu on each table using which, menu can be loaded in a customers device. They can place order as well through the menu from their mobile phones itself.
QR codes care cost saving since you dont need to spend on paper menus, they are time saving since the customers dont need to wait for a waiter, they are aslo very adaptive since any menu item can be made and is directly reflected through the same QR code.
QR codes definitely offer tones of benefits and are a go to solution to ease out the process of handling menus at restaurants.
4) Monitor employee health and hygiene:
Display sanitizer stands at the gate of your restaurant so employees sanitize their hands properly before entering your premises. All the diners too can follow the same to enhance safety.
A temperature meter gun or a non-contact thermometer is essential to have so a daily check of the employees can be done. If any of the employees do not need the safety criteria, further steps can be taken to warn them and also assure that your restaurant is protected.
Pulse Oximeter is also something that is a must-have to measure the oxygen levels in the body. There are set levels that should be met in the body and with this machine, one can identify the levels.
Most importantly, employees should always have a mask on and gloves while preparing the food.
5) Let Dine-in take the back seat and focus on Takeaways/Curbside/Delivery:
It surely is a time where people will prefer to stay in the house more than going out. Takeaways are taking an upper hand than dine-in and restaurants should be prepared to serve accordingly.
By focusing more on the takeaways, one can maximize orders and create a different group of loyal customers altogether. Curbside is another new term that has come up now wherein the order can be collected by the customer without getting out of the car. They can wait in their car and the restaurant staff can deliver the food item in the car adhering to all the safety measures.
With changes in times, every business needs to adapt to new ways to satisfy their customers’ needs. Delivery is definitely going to be the future of the restaurant industry considering the situation at hand….
6) Adopt a reliable online ordering system for your website:
With more takeaway and delivery orders for your restaurant, one needs to ensure that they have a secure and reliable ordering system that meets all your needs. It should be easy to use for your customers and easily accessible as well.
While taking the services of third parties for online ordering can be expensive, we have an online ordering system for website and app that integrate with your website easily and you can manage them easily without relying on third parties as well as offering sleek features like easy menu management, reports handling, tracking orders, loyalty programs and a lot more…
Make sure that you offer a website that attracts customers – a website that has a great look, a menu that is worth ordering, great customisations for the customers to easily order what they want..
7) Use Digital Signage:
Digital signage is a versatile way to display almost anything you want to market about your restaurant. Be it the new menu items on your menu, your delivery timings or offers you are looking to promote in the menu, digital signage do it all.
They are a onetime investment that can reap you everlasting benefits. Even if you are closed, digital signage can be used to keep your customers informed about your work and keep connected to your services.
The best thing about Digital Signage is that you can manage the content to be displayed on them almost from anywhere be it sitting at your home or from anywhere. The software that controls them are affordable and offer you the ability to display facebook and instagram feeds too so it instantly connects with the crowd.
8) Use Digital Menu Boards to get the orders
Paper menu cards could be potential holders of various germs or even the virus. It is advisable to not use them at all during these times. The best alternative is digital menu boards instead of the regular paper menus.
While some may even decide to go for the disposable menus, the cost of having them is more and the process is quite manual and time-consuming.
Digital Menu Boards can be used by the visitors to have a simple look at the menu and place the orders. Besides, it is very easy to update the menu as needed. The cost of having a Digital Menu board might seem to be high but consider it as a long term one time investment. Anything right from the menu to the offers can be displayed on them with ease and the content can be managed from anywhere.
It’s safe to say that the current crises might take a while to settle and restaurants should be ready to adopt either Digital Menu Boards or QR Codes for customers.
9) Go with contactless payments
Contactless payments are the future since they offer the most convenience to everyone. They are quick, secure and easy to adopt. While people might be keen to dine-in or even order at your restaurants, they might worry about things like exchanging contact and hygiene.
By adopting contactless payments, the first assurance you can give your customers is that their needs and concerns are taken care of. There are numerous reliable solutions which go well with your current POS system. Although there are many factors like the commission charges, the convenience of use and the accessibility that are to be taken care of, choosing wisely can go long term.
Some restaurants might think of going with traditional card swiping too if not the cash exchange but that still puts your customers and staff at risk.
10) Take customers only on reservations
Social distancing being the norm of the situation, it is better to only book your restaurant for a capacity that follows social distancing. To do so, make it mandatory for the diners to make a reservation before coming to your restaurant.
Besides having reservations at your restaurant helps you stay prepared for the diners well in hand and serve them properly. Less clutter, more organised service, better capacity control, ease in the anxiety of diners and better reviews are the benefits of going with the reservations.
A well versed cloud based system that handles everything right from orders, payments, reservations and managing tables should be adopted to enhance the productivity in operations.
11) Update your menu to more healthy options
Healthy food that includes more veggies with ingredients that offer more immunity can be inculcated in the food items of your menu. A separate section offering healthy items can be created in line with the situation so people tend to order from it more. By doing so, you can show your preparedness for the time and that you care for the needs of your diners.
By displaying eye grabbing images of the food items, offering them at discounted prices and highlighting the healthy ingredients, more orders can be grabbed such that some diners might decide to order the items on a daily basis.
It is also advisable to remove the menu items that are not doing great temporarily and give more space to the items preferred along with the new addition of the healthy section.
12) Stay connected with your customers
To maintain the connection that you have built with your diners over a period of time with great dishes, level up your game and stay in constant touch with them. Messages highlighting your offerings or a newsletter every week/fortnight can be a good way to do so.
Many times it so happens that if you are not in touch with your customers, they might feel that your place is shut down. Restaurants can also promote their new menu on social media highlighting the healthy section so customers know and can order.
Restaurants can enhance the engagement level by continuously uploading culinary videos to keep the new learning cooks at home engaged. By keeping the content relative and light, it becomes easy to stay connected to your customers.
13) Train staff to serve the right way and follow the safety protocols
How the staffs serves food and tries to maintain as little contact as possible is also something very important to keep your customers assured that right methods are being followed as a safety measure.
Training your head chef to prepare food adhering to all the safety measures is also essential. A restaurant can display the videos of the safety protocols being followed and the training that is being given to the staff so they know that you are a reliable place to order from or dine at.
Training the staff can also increase their loyalty level to your restaurant since they know you are willing to go a step ahead to train them to make their skills better.
Do share your points too that can help any restaurant reopen during these times in an effective way. These are tough times and creative ways are needed to survive the situation. Reach us out on firstname.lastname@example.org to share your thoughts.