Although many restaurant businesses have found creative ways to stay open and serve customers during this highly unexpected time, some have temporarily shut their doors. If you find yourself in an empty restaurant, bar or cafe, why not use this closure as an opportunity to make improvements? When you reopen, you’ll be starting back up on the right foot, in the best shape possible.
Check out this list of suggestions, and – if you are able – see if you can get your team to help out*. This way, they feel involved and can potentially pick up some workable hours and keep some income flowing.
*Please do keep in mind the rules and regulations for physical distancing, and do everything you can possible to prevent the spread of COVID-19
1. Deep clean:
It’s not the most enjoyable job, but it has to be done. And when this blows over, you can bet that customers (old and new) will be hypersensitive to the cleanliness of establishments that they enter. Get ahead of the game by rolling up those sleeves and giving your space a good scrubbing. Floors, walls, baseboards, under tables, large windows, cupboards, machinery, etc. You’ll know you’re done when even you are willing to eat a meal off any surface in there. (If you need some inspiration, we have several great cleaning checks available in our Template Wizard for clients)
2. Get organised:
There is nothing worse than working (and running) a busy business and not being able to find things when you need them. Be honest, how many stacks of receipts, HR forms, and invoices do you have piled up around your desk that need to be filed? My guess, A LOT. Save your future self time and frustration by getting organised. And don’t let it stop at the office. Clean out cupboards, food racks, fridges, and storage closets you have on the premise as well. Being well organised can save you from making mistakes, causing injuries, and loss of valuable time. Channel your inner Marie Kondo and get to work.
3. Streamline your operations:
Running a business can be one of the most rewarding, but also one of the most stressful careers in the world. But we don’t have to tell you that. It’s hard to keep on top of all your office work while maintaining that your staff are on top of things and doing what is required of them. (And even more difficult if you have more than one location.) This downtime could be just what the doctor ordered. Why not utilise this time to streamline your day to day operations and expectations for your staff? Using a program like OpsBase, and getting everything configured exactly how you want while you have the time, means that when those doors reopen, your staff will now have a clear direction of things they are expected to do, and you have oversight it’s getting done. OpsBase is running a special offer to help businesses get back on their feet. Sign up today, and don’t worry about paying until 3 months after your business reopens – find out more here.
4. Repairs & Maintenance:
You know those wobbly tables you keep putting coasters under to stay stable? Or the door that makes a loud squeaky sound every time it closes? Or what about the espresso machine that doesn’t work quite like it’s supposed to? Time to whip out the tool belt and get to work! (or call in the professionals – no shame in that) Take care of all the repairs that need to be done around the property. Because, the longer you leave the small fixes that your staff work around every day, the more frustration it causes for your team and your customers. Let them return to a well-oiled machine (and door hinge for that matter). And the good news is, if you are using OpsBase, then your to-do list is already laid out for you in the form of our Issues Log. Raise, assign and resolve all types of issues on the move and with ease.
5. Give the place a face lift:
Obviously, this depends on how much you are willing to spend financially on your business during a time when there is momentarily nothing coming in. However, if you are willing and able, now is the perfect time to give your place a little update. Fresh paint on the walls, maybe build a new storage area, re-do the beer garden, or you can even go as far as refurbishing the whole place. Up to you, but all those projects you have wanted to do – but would have had to temporarily partially or fully closed to do – you have just been given the gift of time.
6. Update the menu:
This is definitely the most enjoyable idea on our list, but what about switching things up a bit food-wise? Are there menu items that customers have been asking for? Are there ideas and suggestions that your staff have been throwing out to you and dying to try? Now is the time to get together with your chef (you can even do this remotely) and get creative. Whether it’s putting a new spin on an old favourite, getting rid of the items that just aren’t selling as well as they used to, or adding some brand new items full stop, your customers will be anxiously awaiting the day they can come back and try them all out! (be sure to brag about them and build up the excitement on your social media outlets)
7. Build up your online following:
That brings us to our very last suggestion – social media. If there are 50,000 people in your town but you only have 300 following you on Facebook or Instagram, it’s time to start putting some effort into your online presence. Social media is ingrained in our daily lives. If you don’t integrate it into your restaurant, even the best restaurant marketing strategies won’t be able to keep up. Start using this tool to stay connected with your customers, share all the changes and improvements you are making, tease exciting new menu items, and have them chomping at the bit to get back through your doors. The more ‘followers’ you have now, the more you will be able to reach, letting them know you have reopened and what’s on offer.
There you have it folks, 7 different ways you can take advantage of these temporary closures to make a comeback better than ever! Which direction will you head in first?
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