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Post-Lockdown Tips for Restaurant Owners

Posted by mett iwish on
Post-Lockdown Tips for Restaurant Owners
The COVID-19 lockdowns became a test—if not a race—among restaurants as to which of them can continue operating given their limitations. The new customer service offerings and buying habits that emerged at the time people had to stay at home are expected to stay on for several more months. What are those trends and how can you as a restaurant owner and manager use them to your advantage?


How can a good sound system help your business nowadays? Do you need to have some audio equipment like PA system, or speakers and even voice amplifiers?


Food Business Trends

  • Home Deliveries, Curbside Pickup
With their physical establishments closed and only delivery services allowed to operate, restaurants saw their digital or online transactions rise to over 20% during the self-quarantine period from a mere six percent before the pandemic.

According to a study by marketing consulting firm Simon-Kucher & Partners, a fourth of purchases will continue to be done online, either through mobile apps or websites, six months to a year after the lockdowns. So besides revamping your menu and deals, use your app and website to update your customers about how you've been coping since the pandemic. Build confidence by uploading a short video, which you can create using your smartphone and a good sound system, showing how you sanitize your kitchen, dining area, and other places within your restaurant.

While so-called quick-serve or fast food restaurants were the top players in terms of deliveries during the lockdown period, big restaurants are expected to follow suit and offer "premium deliveries" and pickups as they still won't be able to function fully.

If you’re taking orders via drive-through, check the status of your drive-through sound system to ensure your staff and customers hear each other easily and accurately.  Clear communication will help reduce waiting time and encourage patrons to line up due to fast service.

· Ready-to-Cook Meals, Cooking Demos
Nearly a third of participants to a Waste and Resources Action Program survey said that stay-at-home orders gave them a chance to explore their cooking skills. Many food businesses launched ready-to-cook packs of their favorite dishes during the lockdown. These meal kits eliminated certain time-consuming steps such as chopping or peeling and marinating ingredients. It also promoted a "picnic-at-home" concept.

Some establishments hosted live cooking shows or made pre-recorded videos featuring cooking tutorials on social media. Today's smartphones currently have many advanced features that will allow you to do livestream or photo-editing in high-definition color. You don’t need to share the details of your secret sauce or batter; just walk the audience through the recipe. A good wireless mic or voice amplifier will help you maximize the power of mobile and optimize your online presence.


 · Grocery Offerings
Some food businesses offered grocery items like fresh produce, milk, bread, and even toilet paper besides what they normally offer in their delivery and pick-up menus. Hence, industry insiders predict that restaurants will turn into "restaurmarts," selling a variety of goods—from spices, coffee, pancake mix, meats, and other household items—from their suppliers directly to their customers.

· Food trucks

Food trucks are positioning themselves as solutions to the consumers' desire to eat out while being at a safe physical distance from others. In the US, the National Food Truck Association's mobile app, BestFoodTrucks, connects customers to food trucks so they can order online and avoid falling in line. Some food trucks also offer groceries besides hot meals.
Certain restaurant operators have come up with a supplementary food truck service that would pop-up in certain localities. They give an "order-ahead" option to customers and ask for feedback on when and where’s the best place to “park” their truck. Meals are prepared fresh and on-site. It will be a good idea to bring a voice amplifier, Bluetooth speaker, or wireless mic with you if you'll operate a food truck to help you communicate clearly with your customers on location.


Return-to-Work Preparation

If local regulations have just allowed restaurants in your area to start operating beyond deliveries and pick-ups, the following steps can help you make a smooth and safe transition:

1. Provide staff training online before they come back to work.
Organize an online meeting with your team to discuss new safety rules for food handling, contact with surfaces, operating facilities, seating customers, and so on. Provide all the training possible before you ask workers to physically show up at the restaurant. You can do some training videos ahead of time using your smartphone and sound equipment and then upload them to a private YouTube channel for your crew to view.

Check local health authority guidance for employee health screening and create a plan for monitoring your workers' health and hygiene practices within your establishment.

Invest in necessary protective gear, as well as hand washing and ware washing equipment (plexiglass shields, facemask/face shield, gloves, hairnets, sanitizers). Remember that your staff will be the most exposed to customers so don't skimp on what they need for protection.

Divide your crew into two or three groups who can rotate on different shifts. This will ensure that if one employee gets sick, an entire team can go on leave without shutting down operations because another team can take its place.


2. Put up safety guideline posters and markers outside and inside your restaurant.
Check your cashless or touch-less payment options and make signs informing customers about them.
Moreover, provide signages indicating the maximum number of people allowed inside and social distancing markers.

Print disposable menus or sanitize menu surfaces after every use.
Guide your customers about access to water, condiments, and dinnerware that used to be available at self-service carts or corners pre-COVID-19.


3. Communicate with your customers prior to opening.
Let customers know if you're opening soon, what your store hours are, and what payment options are available to them.

Inform them that you've adjusted your cleaning and safety procedures to comply with local regulatory standards. You can upload a "Welcome back!" video that you created with your smartphone and sound equipment to share these updates on your social media networks.  Remember to ask for input about how else you can serve your customers better at this time.

If you are looking for voice amplifiers and PA system for your business, click the picture below:


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