New Tactics for the New Normal
There are not many positives to take away from 2020 so far if you are in the restaurant, food service, or hospitality industry. It has been an extremely difficult time, and the future seems to continuously become more uncertain. The only thing truly hopeful about all of this is that we have gotten to see a lot of very smart people explore and try new things to boost their businesses. Below we explore just a few new things that have come out of the pandemic that just might be here to stay:
Early in July our blog examined the idea of delivery only restaurants, and discussed a hospitality business in Las Vegas that was opening new chains of delivery-only restaurants. Now, Dickey’s BBQ Pit (an already extremely successful chain restaurant), is offering franchisees the chance to own their own virtual kitchens. Not only do these delivery only kitchens present the opportunity to jump on with the rapidly growing demand for delivery, they also require very little upfront investment. For a Dickey’s BBQ franchisee all that is really needed is a smoker, a warming cabinet, and a sanitary kitchen of course.
While virtual kitchens may not be the best option for all food-service businesses, they provide a new and exciting way into the industry and require minimal upfront investment. If you are a food service entrepreneur looking for a new business to start up, consider becoming a franchisee for a national chain that is starting to open virtual kitchens.
One can start to see a trend here in utilizing the virtual space, and virtual events are a great way to generate some revenue while your business searches for solutions throughout this difficult time. In blogs past we have touched on virtual wine tastings, but this same concept can be expanded upon for more fun and exciting events.
Whether you are a nationally renowned restaurant or simply a local community favorite, there are plenty of ways to create virtual events that will benefit your business. For example, if you have a particular dish on the menu that is known as a staple amongst your customers, put together an event where the chef instructs preparation like a live cooking show. Team up with other local businesses and deliver your items in tandem with your new partners. A fun event idea might be partnering with a local art supply store and a high school art teacher. Deliver your food with supplies for an art project and have the event centered around the art teacher’s instruction. If you put some effort into coordinate events like this, I guarantee you it will not be hard to find partners looking to give their business an edge as well.
Make Customers Feel Comfortable
I mean that’s pretty much always been the main goal of a restaurant or food service business. But now that it is much harder to gauge what makes the customer feel comfortable, businesses will have to utilize some tactics that may not have been in the playbook before.
Although some customers will have heavier concerns than others, the fact is people want to go out. Very few consumers had any say of what closed down and what stayed open over the last few months, and while many people will continue to proceed with caution, they are itching to get out of the house. Make sure your business goes the extra mile to establish a safe and sanitary environment for your customers, and let it be known. Prove to customers that your staff consistently wears the most effective PPE by posting information about the high quality supplies you are utilizing. Make it known that you are doing all you can to protect the comfort and safety of your patrons.