15 Tips to Keep Your Food Business Running During COVID-19
During the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the economy has been severely affected. Unfortunately, this long-term business impact will ripple for years. But despite everything going on, authorities, business owners, and the public are eager to reopen the business, public venues, and other places that make our life consistent, comfortable, and enjoyable. To get the ball rolling, COVID-19 business management has to be quite flexible and updates its approaches.
This is particularly true for the restaurant business since it must adapt or even totally re-form because of the consequences of COVID-19. Restaurants, cafes, coffee-shops, and other eateries must not only navigate their financial and operational challenges but also rapidly address the needs of the customers and employees. They have to enhance the security against coronavirus, invent new work styles that will be safe and convenient for both workers and clients, use various marketing tools to drive revenue during this unpredictable time, and take tens of other steps to run their small business during COVID-19. We’ve created this post to help our favorite eateries survive. Here you’ll find 15 well-tried ideas on how to drive sales for your food business during COVID-19. Read on!
How To Keep Your Food Business Running During COVID-19: Best Tips
We often get asked “How to run a business during COVID-19? What are the must-follow safety rules for restaurants, cafes, and coffee shops?” That’s why we’ll begin with basic rules that will help you secure your employees from COVID-19 as well as partners and visitors from getting infected. As soon as people realize that they are safe and protected in your cafe, they’ll be happy to spend time in the cozy atmosphere eating something delicious.
Basic Safety Rules
1. Temperature Monitoring Is a Must
As we all know, fever is the first sign of coronavirus infection. That’s why business owners must provide continuous temperature monitoring for employees and visitors. The best way to implement it into the practice is by installing smart temperature monitoring devices at the entrance, hall, and even kitchen. You may consider such devices:
Smart sanitizing hubs and smart kiosks - these devices estimate whether someone is feverish. The process of monitoring takes seconds, and the result is accurate. Thanks to this tool you’ll ensure that no one with fever-like symptoms unknowingly exposes other people inside the cafe to the virus.
Fever detecting cameras and thermal cameras - they can monitor vast groups of people and are designed for high-traffic areas. Such devices can be installed in a big service room, hall, or at the entrance if you don’t want to stop every visitor for monitoring.
These smart devices are true life-savers since they help to detect potentially infected individuals, hence, stop the spread of COVID-19.
2. Hygiene Is the Best Killer for COVID-19
There have always been strict rules concerning food service and hygiene, but nowadays, it’s even more important since coronavirus spreads through contaminated surfaces and objects. All furniture and countertops must be wiped with disinfectant several times a day, or after each client - that’s a vital rule under today’s circumstances. Here is a good idea for restaurant owners: let your clients know how much you care about hygiene in your eatery. You can create posters, audio records, or videos telling about your team’s eagerness to make a cozy and extra hygienic atmosphere for your customers.
3. Do Promote Hand Hygiene in Customers
Bring to customers’ knowledge that the World Health Organization recommends washing hands thoroughly for 20 seconds since it’s the best way to kill bacteria and stop the spreading of coronavirus. Also, people must sanitize their hands as often as possible. For this reason, it would be a great idea to install a smart sanitizing hub in the hall and kitchen. Employees and clients can kill two birds with one stone - sanitize their hands and check their temperature. Besides, this device is non-contact, therefore, it prevents cross-contamination.
4. Provide Social Distancing for Employees and Clients
Maintaining social distancing is a must if you want to safely run your business during the COVID-19 pandemic. When people stand within less than 1 meter of an individual with coronavirus, they can get infected by breathing in coughed out air or exhaled droplets. So, what can you do to keep people as far from each other as possible?
- Encourage customers to order online
- Develop a high-quality delivery
- Lessen the number of employees, make shifts if it’s possible
- Maintain social distance between waiters and clients
- Use social distance signs to remind clients to maintain a 1-meter distance
- Use screens at counters
- Provide a queue management
- Limit access to the venue for people waiting for orders or collecting takeaways.
5. Promote Respiratory Hygiene in The Restaurant
Spread posters in the venue to promote respiratory hygiene and teach people to sneeze and cough in an appropriate way to prevent passing on the virus. Also, employers and customers must wear masks inside the restaurant. Below you’ll find other useful tips for maintaining respiratory hygiene:
- Provide free masks and enough tissues
- Set an anti-virus machine, e.g., a smart sanitizing hub to hinder coronavirus and other infections
- Make sure that the restaurant has sufficient ventilation.
Marketing Tips To Keep Your Food Business Going Strong During Covid-19
1. Over Communicate With Customers and Create Something New for Them
Communicate with clients through your website, advertisements, social media, emails, etc. Let them know you’re open, share your offerings, deals, and delivery platforms. Appeal to your customers’ cravings since they might have already been tired of the samely home-made dishes. Let them know what's new and delicious you have for takeaway and delivery.
2. Provide Clients with What They Want
Get to know the most popular and highly searched for dishes in your area. Ensure that you cook everything your customers might want. You could add a free beverage, appetizer or dessert for free - everybody loves gifts! Remember that comfort food is a king during times like these.
3. Provide Social Media Sweepstakes
People spend a lot of time surfing the Internet and on social media, especially during the quarantine. Why not use it? Build a community and encourage people to tag your venue in their stories. Create posts offering them free meals or prizes.
4. Add Several Coloring Book Pages to Orders
That’s a great tendency to give coloring book pages to dine-in clients. And it’ll be even better to include a few of them into takeout or delivery orders. Kids adore such pastime, and it’s not a secret that some adult patrons love coloring too!
5. Create a CSA with the Supplier
Collaborate with the suppliers and contractors to make CSA boxes of products and other essentials. This way customers can sign up for regular deliveries of much-needed food items and necessities. It’s a win-win service for all members!
6. Share Some of the Recipes from Your Menu
Even if you’re experiencing COVID-19 business disruptions and have decided to close your restaurant for some time, it would be a good idea to share some favorite recipes from your cuisine. This way, you’ll build community, awareness, and goodwill which will keep your clients thinking about your venue and bring them back when you reopen.
7. Design Zoom Background of Your Venue
If you have customers who work from home, ask them to use the Zoom image background of your restaurant during their calls. It’s an excellent show-card! Your venue definitely won’t be forgotten!
8. Contribute for Healthcare Workers
Lots of restaurants and cafes get involved with soliciting donations and providing dishes for those on the front line combating this deadly virus. If you have ample resources, consider supporting healthcare workers too!
9. Donate Cutlery and Inventory in Food Banks
If you have extra inventory that you won’t use because of the shifting business model or which will expire soon, you could deliver it to a local food bank. Nowadays, unemployment rates are growing, therefore, food banks are experiencing the need in inventory and other donations.
10. Include a Thank You Card
It’s a very simple but effective action! This way you show your clients how grateful you are for their support during these hard times. Adding such a card to their delivery or takeout bag will let them know how much you appreciate them.
You might have read a lot of materials on how to run a business during COVID-19. Hopefully, you’ve found the ways to overcome the crisis. Use our simple and low-cost tips as your COVID-19 business guidance! This way you’ll abolish the risk of coronavirus for your employees and customers, increase confidence, and drive revenue.
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