How coronavirus is impacting restaurants—and some smart solutions

How coronavirus is impacting restaurants—and some smart solutions

Friday, April 03, 2020
Nyo Logan

For anyone running a restaurant today, the rapid spread of COVID-19 is seriously worrying. Not only is the government enforcing closures on all but the most essential places of work, but it can be hard to run anything outside of a takeaway service now. With the impact this is having on the catering industry, it’s only natural for restaurant owners, managers, and franchises to worry about how this might impact their businesses—and livelihoods—in the weeks and months to come.

The potential effects will likely see restaurants closing their doors at least temporarily, and possible permanently. Indeed, those that fail to adapt could face a very challenging future—despite the government offering some assistance with regards to wage payment for staff to avoid lay-offs.

Government assistance aside, here’s how restaurants can find some certainty in these uncertain times. With the following changes, the prospect of restaurant businesses surviving this pandemic should be just a little more feasible.

  1. Start delivering

    While delivery services aren’t for every restaurant, you might need to adapt and adjust for now. Set yourself up with an online app for ordering or use a major platform such as Uber Eats or Just Eat to make sure you can keep on delivering quality meals for the foreseeable. Granted, it might mean a change in how your service works, but it might also be necessary if you wish to see out this unforgiving scenario.

  2. Send out cook-along boxes

    With many food resources going to waste due to closure and supply chain issues, it might be a good idea to send out some cook-along boxes.

    Men received box loaded with organic vegetables from delivery service.

    These packs of prepared food are a great choice for any food business looking to not only reduce food waste but appeal to customers who could do with a fix of their favourite dishes—not to mention a fun activity to pass the time during lockdown!

  3. Help out those in need

    Got any excess left over? Managing your stock probably involves a lot of guesswork right now. If you end up with excess, don’t hurl it in the bin: consider transforming it into food packages for those in need.

    Sadly, food banks and soup kitchens are all too common in today’s society. You can help a little by giving out food—cooked or uncooked—to these facilities, who will happily help to spread the wealth to those who are most vulnerable. Certain restaurants may even choose to specialise catering for specific at-risk groups, such as the elderly, the unemployed, or those who are pregnant.

  4. Create online content to share

    From updates on how COVID-19 is impacting your area/industry to recipe books and online guides for healthy eating at home, you can do a lot with the free time you might now have. This will show your customers you are taking this seriously, and that you aren’t leaving them to fight this issue alone.

    Female vlogger recording cooking related broadcast at home

    After all, it’s during times like these that communities should be coming together to fight as one and create a happier, healthier future for everyone. Now is the time to do so, and it’s going to come down to how restaurants and other key services act to help those who are most vulnerable at this time—starting by reaching them online with genuine content.

If you can do more, you should. The long-term social impact will go beyond the length of this epidemic. When the COVID-19 outbreak is behind us, your friends and customers will remember which businesses were most adaptable, understanding, and accommodating.

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