Restaurant revenue plummeted by 80% last March when COVID-19 hit the United States. All of us are bare witness to this public health crisis that shook the entire world from its core.
All of the 50 states declared a state of emergency and were placed on lockdown. This forced businesses to close down, mostly non-essential businesses. Although considered essential, restaurants were operating in reduced capacity which heavily affected their sales revenue.
The pandemic entirely changed the business model for restaurants. For restaurant owners, it was a challenge to keep up. With the loosened restrictions from the government and CDC though, restaurants started to get back on their feet.
If you’re one of the restaurant owners that’s going through a lot during these times; you’re not alone in this fight. Let’s help each other get through this crisis.
So, in this post, we’ve listed down useful pieces of information and tips on managing your restaurant to reduce the impact of COVID-19.
Add a Drive-Thru Option
COVID-19 is transmitted from person to person. As a restaurant owner, adding a drive-thru option is ideal to reduce close in-person interaction. Since some people prefer to avoid dining at restaurants, you can still cater to their cravings with drive-thru service.
You can also add other services like takeaways, delivery & curbside pizza Apopka pickup for more convenience.
Improve Your Ventilation System
Airborne transmission is possible, especially in indoor spaces like a restaurant. This happens when it has poor ventilation. Restaurants with open spaces and wide windows have a lower risk of spreading the virus. Thus, ensuring your ventilation system is working properly will minimize the risk of spreading the virus.
Here are some important measures to improve your restaurant’s ventilation:
- Consult a heating, ventilating & air-conditioning (HVAC) professional. This is to determine what part of your ventilation system needs improvement.
- Increase your outdoor air ventilation to promote better air circulation inside your restaurant.
- Open your system’s outdoor air dampers to prevent recirculation of air in your HVAC.
- Set your air filtration to the highest level.
- Replace old filters with new ones to ensure good air filtration and decrease filter bypass.
- Run your HVAC system at the highest setting for outside airflow for at least two hours before you open and close your restaurant.
Change your restaurant’s layout
This pandemic showed us what the new normal is. Realistically, it will take a very long time for us to live a normal life. Thus, for your restaurant to thrive under these circumstances, you need to adapt to the new normal. You can do this by changing your restaurant’s layout to follow social distancing measures.
Here are the necessary changes to your restaurant’s layout.
- You must reduce the table and seating capacity to 50% to maintain social distancing.
- You need to inform your customers to order ahead of time through your website or social media page. This is to limit the amount of time they spend in your restaurant.
- Provide a virtual menu that your customers can access through your website, an app, or social media page.
- If you’re running a buffet restaurant and other self-serve food options, it’s better to come with a new process flow. Instead of having your customers queue in line, provide them with a menu that details all the food you serve on your buffet and ask them to check which items they want to get served
- Install see-through partitions or barriers in each table of your restaurant. Include the cash register, bar area, and host stands.
- Put physical guide markings either on the walls or on the floor to maintain physical distancing.
Check Everyone’s Temperature
COVID-19 testing isn’t that affordable. So, it would be better to check everyone’s temperature including your staff before they can enter the restaurant. If one of your staff isn’t feeling well, let them take the time off. If they are experiencing one or two symptoms associated with COVID-19, advise them to get tested. Also, they are required to quarantine themselves for at least 14 days.
If one of your staff has above 36-degree Celsius temperature, don’t let them work or enter your restaurant’s premises. This applies the same to your diners. Before they enter your restaurant, their temperature must be checked to see if they have a fever or not.
Install Touch-Less Sanitation Stations
Sanitation stations are very important to minimize the spread of this virus. When installing your sanitation stations, keep in mind to place them strategically. You need to place them at the entrance, kitchen door, backdoor, host stand, & washing area. Make sure to use 70% solution alcohol or sanitizer.
Sanitize the Tables & Chairs Frequently
It may sound paranoid, but sanitizing the tables and chairs before the next diner occupies it reduces the risk of transmitting the virus. COVID-19 virus can stay on surfaces for several hours, so you must sanitize it with your preferred solution or formula.
Showcase Great Customer Service
Lastly, greet your diners with warm hospitality and a big smile. We all know we’ve been through a lot this year, so let’s make each other feel better. Put your best foot forward in serving your diners with excellent customer service & delicious food. This will surely make them feel better and somehow forget what the world is going through right now even in a short moment.
We’re glad you’re done reading our post, and we’re very optimistic that you’ve grabbed valuable tips from us. Let’s face the fact that we’re facing an invisible threat, and we can only beat it by doing our part in following the necessary measures and health protocols. Other than that, let’s hope these bad times won’t last long.
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