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Strategies to succeed in the post-lockdown world

Updated: Dec 6, 2021

Get ready to reopen your food business.

Strategies to succeed in the post-lockdown world
Get ready to reopen your food business

Indian restaurant business contributes about 3 percent to India’s GDP and provides employment to more than 7 million people. 2 months of lockdown and now the dangling threat of coronavirus spread, many businesses are finding themselves on the wrong end of the ongoing pandemic. Food service businesses of all scales and sizes (popular/local, small/big, new/established, etc.) are under tremendous financial pressure.

As the country begins to open markets in staggered manner, food service businesses are likely to see lesser dine-in customers as everyone would want to continue to take required precautions to avoid exposure to outside contacts and its required also. Many business owners and staff are in distress due to already lost business and the uncertainty about business in coming few months.

World is not going to be same like earlier when the markets reopen. So, if Covid-19 has forced the world to change then businesses for sure have to adapt and respond accordingly to stay afloat, revive and scale.

No one knows how long coronavirus scare will continue to exist and no one knows when the markets will get their crowd and charm back to the pre-lockdown levels. While you reopen your food service business post-lockdown, protecting your staff and ensuring your guests feel safe should be your top priority.

Snackaro, an innovative food service company, has been working on the strategies to convert the current difficulties into opportunities for all distressed food and beverage businesses. In this article we are sharing some of those strategies and tips which can surely help most of the food service businesses, if implemented well. These strategies and tips will not only help you to minimize the impact of coronavirus on your revenue but will also enable you to create other sources to generate additional revenue.

While reviving and scaling your business, ensuring safety of your staff and customers should be your number one priority and it should be done very sincerely to achieve long-term and sustainable stability and unprecedented growth.

Follow these effective tips to implement the bounce back strategy to revive and scale your food service business:

Cleaning and disinfection:

  • Very basic step is to clean and disinfect your restaurant/outlet as per government guidelines. Pay extra care to any area or surface customers are likely to touch more frequently e.g. doors, tables, chairs etc.

  • Minimize customer touch points inside your restaurant. Dedicated staff should be doing the tasks which are repetitive for all the customers e.g. opening/closing doors, handing buffet cloche lids, serving spoons, etc.

  • Wipe and sanitize table and chairs after every guest leaves. Remember this will be observed by other guests dining-in at that time!

  • Use electronic or disposable menu and accept digital payments over cash.

  • Schedule professional cleaning and disinfection multiple times a day/week depending on footfall in your premise. Take all required efforts to keep your restaurant disinfected.

  • Religiously follow all Food safety and hygiene guidelines.

Educate and equip your staff:

  • Provide antibacterial gloves and masks to your staff.

  • Check your staff and customers temperature and look for any Covid-19 symptoms before allowing entry.

  • Provide hand sanitizers to everyone entering your premise.

  • Prepare your staff to deal with sick customers.

Market your efforts:

  • Use effective marketing methods to spread awareness about your safety practices.

  • Put signage in your premise to advertise your efforts to clean, sanitize and disinfect your restaurant.

  • Send messages to your customers about your efforts and build confidence that it’s safe for them to visit.

Make your reservation policies more flexible:

  • Allocate more table inventory for reservation across channels. If you had never used reservations services earlier this will be the right time to utilize services of such companies!

  • Change your reservation policies for customer to reserve their table with flexible advance notice.

  • Give more freedom and flexibility to your guests. Don’t charge booking or cancellation charges!

  • Revisit and change your seating plan if required to maintain safe distance between two tables. Be innovative while doing so! E.g. some restaurants can keep soft toys or mannequins on the chairs which they want to keep vacant to maintain safe distance between two tables. Also at the same time it gives a busy look!

Identify new ways of cost saving:

  • Review your sales trend and adjust ordering size and frequency from your suppliers.

  • Shorten your menu and focus only on your best sellers.

  • Collaborate with your nearby restaurant. You both can win together in current situation rather than competing with each other. How? Share staff, resources, supplies and kitchen if possible.

Be more creative:

  • Start and encourage take-away and contactless delivery, if you were not doing it pre-lockdown. Organize food events or entertainment activities if possible.

  • Start offering gift cards to get advance cash flow for the service to be provided in future. Make it attractive for customers!

  • Allow sit-in or working from your restaurant (if possible) for your patrons to gain goodwill and a positive word of mouth.

  • Market your business as a safe place to gather for people who are eager to connect with their friends and colleagues after staying in the confinements of their home all this while. Chances are that they will become your long-term customers!

  • If you premise permits, then consider adding drive-in option for takeaways and eating in own cars in your parking!

Keep yourself updated:

  • Situation can change any time so keep yourself updated with any announcements from authorities on guidelines and updates relevant to your business.

  • Be aware of any stimulus packages or support announced by government or local authorities to support businesses.

Engage with loyal customers:

  • You need to utilize the current time to maintain and strengthen your relationship with your loyal customers. They will play a very big role to revive your business during these uncertain times and will help you to get back to normalcy.

  • Send them messages, emails to inform about your new menu, wish them on important events in their life, offer discounts, packages, etc.

Coronavirus pandemic is unprecedented and has created forever lasting memories for all. No one knows how long it will last whereas some are claiming that we all have to learn to live with it for a very long time if not forever. It has impacted personal life as well as overall economy so far. Therefore it is imperative for everyone to adapt to the new ways of socializing and doing business. You need to sell experience and make your restaurant a place to come and rebuild lost connections!

India is famous across the globe for its food and Indians like eating out like anything. So sooner or later everyone will rush to the restaurants to satisfy their long awaited craving for sumptuous food. Businesses should be ready and rightly placed to capitalise on that trend to make a big one.

Remember, in the middle of Difficulty lies Opportunity so don’t panic… Explore - Dream - Discover!

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About Kwyk:

Kwyk is Simplifying Online Ordering for Hyperlocal Businesses across India.

At Kwyk, we leverage technology to bring together all pieces of the hyperlocal ecosystem on a single platform. Using this ecosystem, we empower businesses (big or small) to create their own online ordering systems so that they can build a direct relationship with their customers easily.

We are building an integrated digital ecosystem that connects merchants and customers with delivery service providers, payment systems, and other service providers to enable Direct orders and save up to 30% by avoiding intermediaries.

Pandemic or not, we are here to reimagine the way offline businesses work and bring the digital revolution to the doorstep of every entrepreneur.

Growth is never by mere chance; it is the result of forces Working Together.

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