The coronavirus and Covid-19 pandemic has hit many industries hard. Countless fields have been unable to operate as usual, seeing closures, operations put on hold and more. Perhaps one of the hardest hit? Restaurants, cafes, bars and other similar institutions. These are highly social spaces where people interact on a face to face basis, so it’s not all too surprising that many aren’t coping too well while trying to abide by government restrictions that have been put in place to stop and slow the spread of the virus. The good news? This isn’t a situation that can go on forever. Eventually, the virus will pass and restaurants and similar businesses will be able to operate again. So, if it’s your dream to set up your own restaurant, don’t throw the towel in just yet. Instead, you could use this down time to really plan your venture, ensuring that everything is well thought out, making sure you have a good plan and strategy in place and thinking over the finer details. Here’s some advice that can help you in your venture!
Get Professional Advice
It’s always recommended that you get professional advice before starting a business in any industry. If you’re planning on opening a restaurant, it’s a good idea to collaborate with specialists who can give you tips for writing a restaurant business plan. They’ll know the ins and outs of the process, what works and what doesn’t work and can ultimately tell you if you’re on the right track or not. Sometimes it really is best getting some insight from those who have worked in the field for years. This will allow you to benefit from their experience. It’s like standing on the shoulders of giants!
Renovate Your Space
Depending on how quickly you want to move into your space, you may find that your first priority is to find a suitable space that can be renovated over time. Even if you find a location that has a commercial space that offers everything you’re after, it is still very likely that you will want to make some changes here and there. If you make the decision to rent your space, you will have a landlord and many may offer something like this jacksonville tenant improvement allowance to give you a helping hand during your renovations. Put simply, this means that a landlord will have a certain amount of money that a tenant can spend to make the space suitable for their business. In this instance, the money could go towards ovens, bar stools, drink machines, and tables and chairs. So, before thinking about finding the perfect space for your business, you may want to see if this is something that you can take into consideration.
Make Your Restaurant Covid Safe
If you’re planning on opening up as soon as possible, you need to remember that it’s unlikely that this pandemic will just pass and things will return immediately to how they used to be once everyone is vaccinated. Instead, it’s likely to be a gradual process that will see people easing back into day to day life. People have been away from usual social situations for almost a year now, so people may be reluctant to dive back into things as they were. So, you need to make your restaurant Covid safe – not only for safety precautions, but to make customers feel comfortable dining with you too. Here are some steps to consider.
Gone are the days when people felt comfortable in bustling premises with people cramped in together. Now, we’ve grown used to having our space and many of us prefer to have two metres between us and others. This is why it’s advised that you limit capacity in your premises. Sure, this may seem counterintuitive – more customers can mean more profit. But it’s likely that social distancing is going to be in place for a while yet and you will need to make sure that all tables have two metres between them. This will prevent different groups from mingling and can ensure that everyone is safe and comfortable. You may also want to limit table sizes, ensuring that different groups don’t have to share a table or that you don’t end up with parties of big numbers.
Opt for Table Service
Your restaurant should offer table service to people dining. This reduces queuing in areas where people order and pay. Instead, you can get your staff to wait tables, moving between groups and keeping people in their allocated seats. This is also a great opportunity to exhibit great customer service, which can create positive associations with your restaurant. Just ensure your staff are polite and competent within their roles.
Provide Hand Sanitiser
You should ensure that your restaurant has hand sanitiser available at key points so that customers can keep their hands clean. Have one at the entrance, one stationed near any doors or other common touch points.
Use Disposable or Cleanable Menus
Lots of people will touch the same menu if there is only one available. This can spread germs. So, instead, opt for recycled paper menus that can be disposed of after one use, or laminate menus so that they can be wiped down and disinfected between use by different customers.
Sure, opening a restaurant right now might not seem like the wisest idea. But now is a great time to start planning your restaurant, its concept, its menu, its aesthetic and more. You will be able to open eventually and the advice above should help to ensure that you can do this in a safe way!