COVID-19 has impacted businesses on a global scale, reducing incomes and forcing long-running companies to shut their doors permanently. One industry that has been especially impacted by the pandemic is the restaurant business. The inability to serve a regular range of customers in-house has taken a huge toll on earnings, with restaurant sales reports estimating a loss of $240 billion USD in 2020 and others projecting permanent closures.
Some businesses in the food and beverage industry have adapted to the restrictions brought on by the pandemic, learning to depend on new ways to turn a profit. Even when COVID-19 restrictions are eventually lifted, the pandemic has forever shaped the way the industry will function. Here's what restaurants can expect once we approach the end of the pandemic.
In the US, most restaurants are in the re-opening phase. This involves limited seating, with some restaurants restricting their seating to outdoors only. Many businesses have invested in outdoor heating lamps or igloo-like structures to accommodate the cold weather, and most restaurants require customers to wear masks when they're not seated or eating. Servers need to wear masks at all times and sanitize hands whenever possible.
As covid restrictions begin to be lifted, restaurants can expect a gradual increase in the amount of seating they can permit. However, it is unlikely that full seating will be allowed for a long period of time. Moreover, smaller restaurants or businesses that lack outdoor space are at a disadvantage because it is harder for them to meet social distancing requirements. Finally, many customers may be hesitant to eat in restaurants that do not offer a wide range of space.
One of the main ways restaurants have adjusted to accommodate the limitations of COVID-19 is by relying more heavily on online ordering. At the beginning of 2020, online sales reports saw a 169% increase in the number of restaurants that used food delivery tools. For many restaurants, takeout services have helped them stay afloat; restaurant analytics report an upward trend in food services relying on takeout and delivery, sometimes for the majority of their income.
For ghost kitchens, or virtual kitchens that operate without the standard seating of a restaurant, delivery is par for the course. However, some traditional restaurants have had trouble transitioning to delivery. The main use with online ordering are costs and technological difficulties.
Prior to the pandemic, many businesses rejected the notion of delivery services because of the costs associated with online ordering tools; for example, restaurants that partner with UberEats reportedly pay a hefty sum of 15-30% just to use the platform. These costs cover a variety of services, including:
- Payment processing
- Customer support
For many restaurants, these costs were enough to rule out the idea of third-party delivery altogether. Some businesses have managed to create their own delivery systems, while others chose to rely solely on in-person dining and pick-up orders. However, the pandemic has made it virtually impossible for a restaurant to stay open without delivery. Even restaurants with their own delivery people and cars rely on third-party apps because it helps them reach a wider audience. While many of these apps lowered or even eliminated their fees to help the industry, there's still the issue of technological difficulties.
For restaurants that are new to delivery apps, it can be difficult to learn how to process those orders. It requires knowledge on how the app functions; businesses that are used to conducting all of their transactions in-person or over the phone struggle with managing a new platform.
It becomes especially difficult when a restaurant partners with multiple online ordering tools. Each service provides a tablet for the restaurant to accept and process orders through, and not knowing how to efficiently check and use each one can result in missed and lost orders.
Due to the limitations inflicted on in-person dining, not knowing how to properly manage these food delivery tools can be the difference between a restaurant thriving and a restaurant having to permanently shut its doors. Fortunately, there's a solution.
As 2021 progresses, COVID-19 restrictions continue to affect the restaurant industry. Those that can't adjust risk losing their business, affecting the restaurant owners and all of their employees. The central saving grace in the food and beverage industry has been online ordering. Cuboh is a platform that facilitates the process of managing online deliveries, making it easier for restaurants to adapt to this new and necessary environment.
Cuboh lets restaurants manage several third-party delivery apps at once by putting all of the orders on one device. Instead of switching between different tablets every time they need to process an order, restaurant owners can see all of their orders in real-time on one platform. This is especially helpful for smaller or under-staffed kitchens that don't have the manpower to operate numerous devices; many restaurants are short-staffed due to the reduced number of in-house customers and the unfortunate necessity for lay-offs.
Cuboh includes several helpful features, such as:
- Delivering multiple platforms on one device
- POS and printer integrations
- Consolidated metrics
Cuboh lets you manage all of your accounts with different delivery apps on one device, while also connecting your orders to POS systems and printers. Moreover, it consolidates your information so that you can view your restaurant analytics in one place.
Cuboh also helps manage your account; a customer won't trust your business if your hours or menu items are incorrect. Cuboh helps update your information across various platforms, consequently maintaining a good business-client relationship.
What The Future Holds
As we move forward, we have to acknowledge that COVID-19 has impacted the way we do things, perhaps permanently. Some of the biggest changes can be seen in the restaurant industry. Many restaurants have become dependent on online ordering to stay in business, and those that haven't should certainly be looking into it.
Accepting online orders isn't going to be helpful if it's too difficult to manage. Most restaurants, even those with their own delivery services, rely on more than one third-party delivery platform for their orders. Cuboh strives to ease this procedure, helping restaurants process their orders in an efficient and timely manner. Restaurants that are preparing to transition toward online ordering or are struggling to accommodate their orders should contact Cuboh and start enjoying the benefits of a streamlined delivery process.