Get Ready for a Post-Pandemic Rush
With multiple vaccines available, the end of the pandemic is finally in sight. After a year of shelter-in-place mandates that slowed business, many customers will doubtlessly be thrilled about the idea of dining out. Make sure you are ready to provide the best service possible by preparing ahead of time.
Many places have been closed or have seen high turnover and layoffs due to the downturn in dining. As things pick back up, make sure your staff is trained on up-to date cleaning protocols, and any changes to your menu or service. If you know you'll need to hire new staff, post job listings well ahead of time so that you have the time to evaluate candidates.
Many supply chains have been in flux due to the minimal indoor dining service in most of the country. Make sure you stock up early on daily essentials, ingredients, and beverages as suppliers will likely be busy when restaurants around the country start re-ordering.
Prepare Social Media
One thing we've all learned over the last year is just how powerful of a tool the internet can be. Post-COVID, many consumers will probably stick to their new online routines. Make sure your social media pages and online information are all up to date. Brainstorm specials, promotions and themes now so that you can have content and information ready to go when the crowds start arriving.
Clean Neglected Areas
It is amazing how quickly dust and grime can build up when you aren't looking! Many restaurants likely have interior sections, silverware and furniture that have been infrequently used over the last year. Make sure everything is thoroughly cleaned after being stored, and consider having upholstery and carpeting professionally cleaned.
Stock up on PPE
While the vaccine gives us hope that life will return to normal, there will likely still be an interim period where dining is allowed, but we still need to be cautious. Stock up on masks and sanitation supplies for your staff, and place hand sanitizer throughout your restaurant for guest use. You can turn this into a promotional opportunity by ordering miniature bottles of hand sanitizer or masks with your restaurant name. That way, guests continue to think of your business long after they leave.
Refresh Your Furniture
While indoor dining slowly ramps back up, it's a great time to move out tattered and wobbly tables, and bring in fresh pieces. You'll make a good first impression on your guests by offering them solid, comfortable seats and tables for dining, and an elevated decor. Many customers are probably still going to prefer outdoor dining, especially during the early stages where not everyone has been vaccinated. Get rid of any temporary furniture you had in place and think about long term, durable pieces such as stainless steel or aluminum table bases.