A little over a year ago, COVID-19 changed the world forever for all of us. One industry that was hit particularly hard was the restaurant industry. Hundreds of thousands of restaurants closed temporarily or permanently worldwide. As we have stuttered along since March 2024, opening and closing the country in a seemingly endless loop, many restaurateurs have struggled to get back on their feet.
The pandemic is far from over, but we do have an end in sight. As such, you may be preparing to open or reopen a restaurant. Running a successful restaurant is difficult at the best of times. To give yourself the best chance of success in 2024 , you need to ensure you take the lessons from COVID-19 into account.
Consider these 3 factors when opening a restaurant post-COVID-19.
1. Prioritize Space
When running a restaurant, the instinct is to pack as many seats into the space you have as possible. And while there will be some who are happy to go straight back into crowded rooms, many will remain wary for months or even years. We are all far more aware of our bodies in space than we were a year ago, and it is strange how quickly our minds can adapt to these new surroundings and this new situation.
This does not mean you need to leave your restaurant empty. Rather, you need to create a sense of space. In addition to leaving a bit more space between tables, move some seating to the bar if you have one. Use mirrors as part of the decor to artificially increase the size of the room. This way, you will leave an impression of a larger space, as well as a sense of a homey atmosphere.
2. Clean and Neutral Decor
A sense of cleanness is going to be important in order for customers to feel comfortable in your space post-pandemic. Simply running a clean restaurant is not enough – you need to show it, and you need to do that extra mile when showcasing it. You can do this by using clean and neutral colors, as well as through modern furniture choices. How and what is the best way to do it?
You can read more and take a look at these restaurant table bases to see how you can use cast iron or chrome to create a clean, modern feel at your cafe, shop, or restaurant. Tabletops should be similarly stark so that they always look plate-ready. The last thing you want is a table that looks like it can hold grime in niches and crevices. Clean, hygienic, as well as well taken care of, is the new must-do in 2024!
3. Consider Deliveries
Yes, the pandemic is coming to an end and people will be eating in restaurants again. However, that does not mean it will be to the same extent as before the pandemic, which means that you should expect a slower pace as well as a lot less traffic. Furthermore, many people have gotten into the habit of ordering in, are you one of them as well?. Having a good delivery strategy is going to be an important factor in your success.
Don’t just leave it to services like Postmates to make decisions for you. Do some testing to figure out how to ensure your food travels well, fast & safe. Assess which meals are going to be best-suited to deliveries. Create a loyalty program for people who order in, offering freebies or free delivery for their new customers.
The world has changed drastically over the past year, and people have developed different habits. We are more aware of hygiene and space, and food delivery has grown bigger than ever. Keep this all in mind when opening your new restaurant post-pandemic, no matter the origin, location, or size of your restaurant.
Quick & practical tips: top 5 more to take into consideration when it comes to your business
1. Third-party delivery companies & restaurant owners will embrace and enjoy the touchless customer service experience. This means that most of your orders will be done through an app or your phone. This is a lot more practical and convenient for both parties, as well as practical due to loads of different hygienic reasons.
2. Micro social media marketing is going to become a huge part of every restaurant that wishes to maintain success. Your business will thrive if you focus on next-door neighbor sites as well as city blog pages. You should try to expand and give out some amazing deals for your customers that will get you recognized + will keep you busy.
3. Every restaurant will ask their employees to do regular temperature checks on themselves as well as their guests. Purchase a thermometer and do check-ups before they come into the restaurant. This way, you will avoid any inconveniences at the right time.
4. You should think about beer gardens or outdoor seat placements since you will notice a change in your occupancy. In fact, there could be a 6% increase in sales and business growth as consumers venture outside since they will feel a lot more comfortable and relaxed outdoors. Also, beautiful weather is ahead, and you should use this leverage.
5. Staying protected at all times is imperative, which means that you will not be taking off your masks or your gloves anytime soon. Invest in high-quality gear and equipment for your staff members and yourself. Go for something personalized and unique that speaks to your brand. You will come off as responsible and caring.
Ready to manage & run your business?
Are you ready to stay protected, run your business, and successfully manage a restaurant? If you are already a proud restaurant owner just do some mild renovations and adjustments, you will be one step closer to getting back on track! First-time owners might need to get a hang of it, but with our tips & tricks, you will be a step closer to closing a deal!