The pandemic that's plagued this country for the past year has changed the face of restaurants. Whether the restaurant is in an area where it was reduced to take-out and delivery only or allowed to stay open, customers have shown that they are now highly concerned about safety.
Keeping customers safe will take a lot of work by the restaurants. They must ensure that they think of all the possibilities so they can encourage customers to order from them without the safety protocols having too much of an impact on the restaurant's bottom line.
Follow Current Guidelines
State and local officials will put out guidelines that restaurants must follow. This may include limits on how many diners can sit at a table, how far apart tables must be, the total number of individuals allowed in the building at once, and a host of other guidelines. By ensuring your employees are following the guidelines, you can help your customers to feel better about their decision to dine with you. This includes ensuring employees wear masks when mandated, as well as keeping restaurant tech items like cash registers and other equipment sanitized.
Consider Going Virtual
Some restaurants are going virtual to stay afloat during the pandemic, so it isn't likely that the virtual kitchen trend is going to go away anytime soon. You can allow customers to order from an online menu and pick up the food at your location. By doing away with the dining area, you can keep the customer contact to a minimum, which is a safer option. If you choose to use this option, make sure that your menu can accommodate the to-go style. Look for dishes that are easily packaged and transported. But, don't forget to take the 2021 food trends into account when you plan your menu. These can help you to keep your restaurant appealing to people who follow these trends, as well as those who want to try new things.
Utilize Delivery Apps
Delivery apps can be a lifeline for struggling restaurants since this gives them the opportunity to greatly increase the customer base. They can reach individuals who aren't comfortable with dine-in options, as well as those who don't have transportation to the restaurant. Some delivery apps also have the option of supporting certain types of businesses, such as Black-owned businesses, so that might be a positive aspect of this for some restaurants.
Your restaurant's employees are the best asset that you have to show customers that it's safe to come into your business. All of the employees who are working should be familiar with the current sanitization guidelines that help to keep everyone safe. This includes everything from washing their hands often to sanitizing high-touch surfaces, such as the restaurant SaaS monitors.
You also need to empower them to do what they have to do so they can make sure their customers are safe. For example, let them require customers to wear masks and ensure that tables are following proper social distancing guidelines.