“Where do we go with in-person dining now?”

In due time, restaurants will return to in-person dining. We will describe some steps that restaurant owners can take to sufficiently prepare for a new stage in their business!

Dylan Koordi

Updated 2 years ago · 5 min read

It has been a year now since the pandemic has hit and through these tough times, plenty of restaurants have been forced to shut down as a result of the stricter restrictions and subsequent heavy declines in customer sales. For those that have survived, a big portion of their sales has transcended to become more ‘pandemic proof’. Among many of those strategies is bundling food together as a package so customer’s save on food delivery. For the others, it could simply be incorporating more quick and easy meal kits that combines convenience and to some degree, cost-effectiveness (per meal).

But while in-person dining might sound odd given the situation, we’re in, it can never be too early to prepare for the day when restaurants are back accepting the lovely customers. The emphasis of this post would be to recommend different practices that restaurants can adopt once business is back and running without restrictions.

Some recommended restaurant practices

The cleaning practices

Coming up with a schedule to efficiently keep track of the symptoms of your workers. Washing hands becomes a must. Make it essential to wash hands for 20 seconds.

Clean and Disinfect prone/high touch areas after each customer!

Enforce Hand Sanitization upon entry.

Maintaining social distancing of tables + ensuring the checkout and pay stations have the required 6-foot distance that can be indicated using tape.

These are all the practices that you might have adopted already before the 2nd round of restrictions were imposed. Keep it up!

The business practices

Need help with recruitment?

While we would recommend you try our services, it is actually important for restaurants to be innovative with how they can bring back the staff immediately to match the restaurant needs. Maybe talent-exchange programs or even small initiatives to work with other restaurants to share labours among peak periods.

Need help with retaining customers?

For your most loyal customers, reach out to them personally and offer them a promotion upon returning to in person dining! Retaining your most loyal customers is crucial, and some of the ways that you can do that is through loyalty pricing that offers your high selling dishes at a fraction of the price or even throwing in a complimentary side dish is a good strategy. For new customers, integrating a loyalty program could be your best bet to retain!

Need help with the menu?

As customer preference changes very frequently, it would be best to monitor for trends in the demand for different types of foods. Now, with the pandemic, there has been a rise in the demand for healthy meal kits. While most restaurants may not be making ‘healthy foods’, tweaking the ingredients to include healthier options or simply including a side dish that is ‘trendy’ while keeping your favourite dishes on the menu, would also be a good step. If you have not already, “TikTok” frequents different inventions of foods that garner a large following. Now maybe a great time to explore these different platforms to accommodate a larger demographic.

Listed are the different strategies that you can prepare for when restrictions are lifted! While we may not have a guarantee on when restaurants will be open for in-person dining again, as a restaurant customer, we sure do miss being in your restaurants! Hang in there!