Opening Your Restaurant Safely During COVID-19

Three focuses of my blog are Financial Literacy/Money, Business/Entrepreneurship and Current Events. One of the many adverse sectors adversely impacted by Covid-19 is the restaurant industry. Proprietors have been able to reopen with specific safeguards in place and adapting as time progresses. The following contributed post is entitled, Opening Your Restaurant Safely During COVID-19.

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There are some places in the world that are opening their restaurants and cafes and trying to get back to normal. In the current pandemic climate, opening the doors to anywhere to “get back to normal” doesn’t feel possible. The good news is that there are plenty of things that you can do as a restaurant owner to make sure that your restaurant is COVID safe. The problem is that people are being given mixed signals by the government about what to do.

As a business owner, you want people to feel comfortable coming into your establishment, which means that you need to do everything that you can to show them that you are confident about your service and how you are handling the pandemic. Most people will find that they won’t eat in restaurants at this time, and ideally, you will be offering a delivery service to keep business afloat. If not, it’s time to offer this as a service and appeal to the masses. Other than this, here are some things that you can do to stay safe with your restaurant opening at this time.

Image Source: Pexels

Offer Outdoor Seating
If you have the space and the permission, one of the best things that you can do to show people that you are minimizing risk is to open seating outdoors. The risk of contracting the virus is lower outdoors, and there can be more space between tables if you have a garden or front yard space to fill with tables and chairs. You could always keep it bistro-style, too, where the tables outside are for those with a coffee and a pastry rather than full dinners. Advertise this service online, so that people coming to your establishment know that there are options to not be cooped up inside.

Arrange A Booking-Only Policy
It’s nice to pop into a restaurant without a booking, but with a pandemic, it will be better for your business to have people only allowed in if they book in advance. When they do this, you can plan the seating better to keep people socially distanced. Offer a texting service, too, so that people who have a booking can be reminded the day before.

Set Up Hand Sanitizer Stations
Outside the restaurant, encourage patrons to use hand sanitizer. Add some to the bathrooms and have an indoor station for on the way out of the restaurant, too. Don’t allow staff to wear gloves, as these can transfer bacteria when they’re not changed after every use.

Invest In Cleaners
You can ask that your current cleaning company is retrained to handle the deeper clean that COVID demands, but you can also hire professionals. Commercial cleaners like HOODZ need to be on standby to do the deeper clean in the kitchen, and you will be able to guarantee to your patrons that you are meeting all health regulations in the light of this pandemic. They should come in frequently to ensure the kitchens are up to cleaning standards at all times. You must be strict about this and include it in your budget.

Offer Masks To Staff
While your patrons do not have to wear masks while they eat, your staff absolutely do. Wait staff and kitchen cooks need to have masks on so as to avoid transmission of any bacteria. It also ensures that people feel confident eating in your restaurant. If they can visibly see that you are taking the pandemic seriously, they are more likely to recommend your site.

Ensure Good Ventilation
The bigger the space, the better the ventilation in the premises. Remove some tables to create that space if necessary. This will give people more room and they won’t be elbow to elbow with people at the next table over.

Promote Social Distancing
Where possible, guests need to be far apart from each other. Whether you are inside or outside with your restaurant, create enough space for social distancing to be possible. While this pandemic is still happening, you need to think of everything that you can do to stick by the rules as set forth by the health ministers.

You want to continue to set an example for your customers as much as possible. Business continuity is so important, and you can ensure that people are comfortable with your approach and set a good example for the community, too. Your business needs to be seen to play by the rules – and it will keep everyone safe when you do.

Finding A Niche For Your Restaurant

Two of the focuses of my blog are Financial Literacy/Money and Business/Entrepreneurship. Many people want to start restaurants, but even if you’re a great chef with stellar recipes, you still have to find your niche. The following contributed post is entitled, Finding A Niche For Your Restaurant.

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Pexels. CCO Licensed.

Looking for a way to attract more business to your restaurant? The answer might not be to try and cater to everyone but to instead find your niche.

If you’re competing with lots of other restaurants in your area, you need to find yourself a unique identity. Targeting a niche might limit the types of new customers you get through your door, but it could also grow the amount of return customers. This is because you’re creating a unique experience that these customers can only go to you for. Below are just a few ideas for carving out a niche.

Consider untapped demographics

Is there a specific group of people in your area in need of a restaurant like yours? This could be one place to start. A few large demographics that can sometimes go untapped include:

· Families with young kids
· Dog owners
· Customers with specific dietary requirements (e.g. vegans, customers with gluten intolerance)

You could decide to really home in on one of these niches. For instance, if your demographic is families with young kids, you could look into commercial swing set parts and create your own playground or build a unique kids’ menu. The more you focus on a niche, the more you risk of alienating people not in that niche, so decide whether there’s really enough customers locally within that niche to make it your full focus.

Give your restaurant a theme

You may be able to carve out a niche by giving your restaurant a unique theme. The most basic form of this is targeting a specific type of cuisine from a certain part of the world such as Chinese food or Italian food. However, if you’re setting up a restaurant in a city, you may find that there are already Chinese and Italian bistros in the area, meaning that you’ll need to come up with an even more specific theme to stand out.

If your premises is a historical building or is located in a historic area, you may be able to incorporate the history into the theme. If you’ve got a certain hobby that you’re passionate about such as movies or sports or cars, then you could even turn this into the theme. This theme could be incorporated into everything from the food to the décor to your visual branding.

Make it more than a restaurant

You may be able to market your restaurant as more than a place to eat and drink. For instance, it could also serve as a music venue for local musicians to play in. You could set up a shop on the side for people to buy books or clothes. You could even host cooking classes there, or let other people hire out the event for parties and functions. This dual purpose is certain to serve as a USP and could help you to build a loyal fanbase that benefits from both of these purposes.