Last December 2020, around 17% of the US restaurants have shut down either indefinitely or permanently. Calling all restaurants to adapt in order to survive and thrive.
The industry’s total sales have dropped by 30% last year, says the National Restaurant Association. The forecast for the industry was $863 billion, short of around $240 billion in terms of sales. The entire restaurant sector has been hard hit and is currently incurring deepening debt. For restaurants to adapt, owners need to embrace paradigm shift.
While many of the restaurants are struggling, there are those who thrive given the same situation. Most of them capitalized on the use of digitalization, optimization, and delivery services.
For restaurants to survive and thrive, focus should be given to the following:
1. Redesign for restaurants to adapt
Food delivery services were clearly the biggest winners during the pandemic. As of this point, delivery and food take-out are the way to go for many restaurants. Those who refuse to embrace them are at risk of closing down if not yet closed.
Some restaurants spotted opportunities by becoming ‘ghost kitchens’ that were increasing during the pandemic. Ghost kitchen is simply a delivery-only restaurant, virtual kitchen, shadow kitchen, commissary kitchen, or any similar concept.
With the given situation, restaurants need to do more than just offer standard takeout service. McKinsey, a respected analyst, proposed that the way to go is to fully redesign the concept of doing business.
2. Focus on Marketing and Outreach
Undoubtedly, COVID-19 has been quite exhausting. It has sapped so much energy, bringing it to the lowest level. Leaving many to still struggle. Restaurant owners need to reach out and show care to customers and find their role in the community.
The pandemic has undoubtedly changed the way people live their lives. It has tampered consumeristic behavior and helps shift the focus to the more essentials in life. Consciousness about the environment has also been heightened. Aligning the business to become relevant is important.
One tool that can be used is the appropriate platform. With the right platform, one need not spend so much time and energy. In managing orders and menus, the right software can enormously help.
3. Digitalize and Optimize for restaurants to adapt
Because of the pandemic, many businesses are forced to transition into digitalization that was not given ample attention before. Those who thrived discovered great opportunities behind the technology that were not even considered before.
The invention of a personalized, digital customer experience has helped many. This is going beyond having online platforms and digital menus. The focus should be geared towards the customers themselves, offering them personalized digital experiences across different channels, like social media and interactive applications.
The method of payments needs to be optimized as well. Going beyond cash transactions, one can explore options like debit or credit, PayPal, e-wallets, digital banking transactions. People now are looking for convenient ways of payment using smartphones or laptops.
We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.