Top 5 Restaurant Moves for Survival
By now, business owners across industries have come to terms with the fact that the world will not be going back to normal, even as states open up and vaccines roll out. Following the pandemic, the whole world is reacting to a new set of circumstances shaped by social distancing guidelines and other restrictions. In order for restaurateurs to thrive in a post-pandemic world, they first need to survive it. We’re here with a list of the top five moves for restaurant survival.
Ensure your short-term success and long-term prosperity by making the following moves this year:
Embrace Customer Expectations
The pandemic forced many restaurants to begin offering things they hadn’t before in order to comply with health guidelines while also producing revenue. For many, this meant implementing safety-driven innovations such as mobile ordering, contactless payments, and curbside pickup.
While restaurant owners may be eager to return to normal, they should think twice before eradicating these operations. Customers, who have grown accustomed to these offerings over the past year, will expect these “perks” to continue. Mobile ordering, contactless payments, and curbside pickup all offer convenience, something that is in high demand in 2021. If your restaurant decides to regress back to pre-pandemic operations, your customers may take their business elsewhere.
It is especially important for smaller, more independent restaurants to offer as many modern technologies as possible in order to capture the audience that might otherwise choose a more innovative fast-food giant.
Enhance Customer Experience
From baking their own sourdough to grilling their own steaks, a large percentage of people began cooking for themselves when the pandemic forced restaurants to close. While some customers may be looking forward to returning to on-premise dining, others may need a little more convincing to come out of their home-cooking routines.
One of the most crucial restaurant moves for survival is enhancing the customer experience to make your restaurant a more attractive option than staying at home. To achieve this, restaurants should consider offering unique menu items and creating a captivating restaurant atmosphere. If your restaurant is in need of a makeover, it may also be a good idea to renovate the inside or outside of your business to attract new customers.
Other than menu offerings and outward appearances, restaurants should also aim to provide exemplary customer service through quick and accurate ordering and payment efforts, while also providing a personal touch that keeps customers out of their own kitchen.
Adopt the Right Tech
In order to meet customer expectations and provide an excellent customer experience, restaurants will need to implement the right technology. In 2021, customers—especially among the younger generations— expect restaurants to be familiar with current technology trends that offer ease and convenience.
Two such technology trends are online ordering and self-service kiosks. In a world where every second matters, it’s important to offer these solutions in order to reduce wait times in-house. These technologies are also an effective way to put the control in the customer’s hands, resulting in faster, more accurate service and improved customer satisfaction.
Another technology trend worth noting is QR code technology. QR codes can be implemented in various ways to streamline ordering or paying—or both. For those dining in-house, QR codes can be displayed for customers to capture in order to view a menu and even order. Even if you have traditional menu display or ordering, QR codes can speed up payments for customers by allowing them to scan the code and pay at their convenience. QR codes became more popular in restaurants during the pandemic since they offer a solution for reducing contact. In the coming year, QR code technology will remain among the most essential restaurant moves for survival for its superior speed and convenience.
Optimize Your Operations
Even as capacity limits lift and more customers return to restaurant dining, it’s important to not let yourself get too busy to make necessary improvements. Proper organization and appropriate automation can give you back that one thing you’ve been needing in order to focus on growth: time.
If you focus on ways to complete all of your usual tasks faster than you do now, you’ll free up the opportunity for further progress in the long run. In the short term, streamlining your operations allows you to provide much better customer service, immediately increasing customer satisfaction and loyalty.
Keep Your Eyes on the Data
Improving your restaurant to meet customer expectations is important, but just as important is what happens behind the scenes. By keeping your eyes on the data, you can determine what you’re good at and what needs to be improved on. You can also find out where your waste is, and adjust accordingly.
Are there food items that are never getting ordered, or ingredients that spoil before you use them? Do you over-staff your dinner rush and under-staff for the lunch break crowd? Did you invest too much money into menu redesign when you should have gone fully digital instead?
These are all important considerations. While you can’t totally predict the future, reading your store data is the next best thing. If you base your decisions on real data, you’re much more likely to reach the goals you’ve set and realize things you wouldn’t have seen otherwise. In short, data enables you to swim with the current instead of against it.
For the past year, most restaurants have been forced to react to the unexpected by constantly revising their operations for the latest problems or regulations. In order to survive now that that storm has just about passed, you need to make these restaurant moves for survival—for today and tomorrow.
Looking for a partner to help you take your restaurant to the next level by increasing productivity and improving customer service? We can help. Contact our team of experts to talk about our customizable restaurant POS solutions.