In more than 60% of the country, restaurants are beginning to reopen for both takeout and dine-in service. In spite of everyone's desire to get back to normal, there is serious trepidation among restaurant owners--and with good reason. Many states have restricted restaurants to a 25% capacity limitation. Yet, even working with a skeleton wait staff, dining restrictions are going to take a massive bite out of profits. For this reason, many restaurants are anxious to beef up their online ordering platform and to make their takeout service as efficient as possible in order to reduce profit loss and help support the return to normalcy in time.
To stage an efficient reopening after the coronavirus lockdown, it's helpful to create a detailed plan that establishes top priorities. Assessing the menu and taking control of the inventory is a must, but there are other priorities to attend to as well. For example, how will your restaurant maintain social distancing for carry-out service? When will it be able to reopen for dine-in service and how can safety be ensured?
Restaurants have to focus on their state and the industry's regulations and recommendations for best practices when reopening to customers in a post-pandemic world. Other priorities for restaurant owners and managers should include training staff on new safety protocols, purchasing safety equipment such as masks, and marketing to customers so they are aware of the restaurant's reopening.
Careful Inventory Management
To create a more efficient takeout service, many restaurants are temporarily limiting their menu offerings. Many restaurateurs can't afford to risk investing in ingredients and supplies that may or may not sell, so they're streamlining their menus to their most popular items. Restaurant owners also have to consider their supply chain. Many food items have increased in price. For this reason, they might want to narrow down their offerings for food they can still purchase affordably.
Fortunately, online ordering is increasing in popularity, so reopening during the lockdown for takeout service can help a restaurant start to build up its income, but maintaining a careful inventory is vital to achieving some level of profit. Once you evaluate your menu and make changes, be sure to post them online so that patrons can easily peruse the updated offerings before placing orders.
Consult with Delivery Drivers and Carry-Out Staff
To streamline the takeout service and make it as efficient as possible, it's important to discuss strategies with front-line staff. Many restaurant owners and managers are busy attending to other aspects of their operation and may not have a complete picture of the restaurant's takeout and delivery service. Work with your frontline team to develop new procedures for coping with the busiest hours of the day or evening. How can you waste less time or manage more effectively? Do you need more staff for certain shifts or more staff to prepare food? To avoid long wait-times for your customers, carefully streamline your restaurant's busiest hours to ensure timely service and delivery.
Revamp Your Space
As you look to increase efficiency in your restaurant and reorganize your dining space, be sure you set aside plenty of space for your staff so you can organize effectively. Having an organized kitchen and service stations can save your employees' time. Consider establishing one area of your space for online orders only. Set aside another area for dine-in service. A well-organized space leads to less chaos and fewer mistakes.
Also, when you have fewer tables and focus more on your online orders, you'll necessarily need to make changes to your space. One great feature of Cuboh is that there are fewer tablets needed for online order management. With Cuboh, you only need one tablet at your online station to manage all your various delivery services and drivers. It cuts down on errors and makes for more efficient carryout service.
Monitor and Optimize Continuously
If this COVID-19 pandemic has taught us anything, it's that we need to remain vigilant and flexible. Regulations and recommendations can change with a day's notice. Restaurant managers should also be ready to change if they see that one of their strategies isn't working. Or, they may find that their plan for efficiency is working brilliantly and, in that case, they may want to enhance their plan for organization even more.
Be sure to monitor how your plan and organizational changes are working so you can revise if you need to. Get feedback from your employees and customers to find out how they feel about your changes and the service you're offering.
If you're in the process of developing a reopening plan for your restaurant, be sure that your online ordering platform is streamlined and efficient. Cuboh can help you by allowing you to easily manage all your delivery services from one convenient module. Contact us to learn more about our product and to get started. We can schedule a meeting and provide you with all the information you need to start managing your online orders efficiently right away.