The COVID-19 crisis is changing many aspects of life for people around the world. One big change is that many are not allowed to eat out at restaurants, which has led to widespread upheaval in the industry.
Luckily, there are some options that can keep restaurants afloat. Of course, there are opportunities that can provide COVID-19 financing relief for restaurants. Beyond that, restaurants and bars can transition to a takeout model in order to keep some revenue streaming in. Many loyal customers are looking to support their favorite restaurants by ordering from their takeout menus.
If you run a restaurant or bar, then you can take the opportunity to transition to a takeout menu for now.
How To Keep Taking Orders For Your Restaurant or Bar
Here are some of the best ways to continue serving your customers during this uncertain time.
Use Your Current Take Out Menu Or Create A New One
If you already have a to-go menu, you’re ahead of the game. However, you may need to modify your current menu or build an entirely new one in order to suit the times.
Consider what your customers are looking for in a takeout dish right now. Many want to support their favorite restaurants but need food that will last for more than a day. Keep the needs of your customers in mind as you create your menu.
Although some customers may be willing to drive to your restaurant, many may not be able to leave the house. If some of your customers are in isolation, consider offering a delivery directly to their door. You’ll be able to provide them the comfort of their favorite takeout without jeopardizing anyone’s health.
Double Check The Orders
Mistakes are bound to happen as you transition to a takeout-only model. Although it’s completely understandable for mistakes to happen, it can be frustrating for the customer to realize they have a botched order after they’ve made it home.
In order to prevent mistakes, consider double-checking all of your takeout meals before they head out the door. You can prevent a headache for your customers and ensure that they continue to come back for your excellent service.
Set Up Your Delivery Method For Success
When a meal has to make it from your kitchen to someone’s table across town, it’s important to prepare for bumps along the way. Consider that your food will need to make it through a gauntlet of delivery issues before making it to its final destination.
As you package your to-go orders, consider separating hot and cold items into different bags. Also, think about packaging your sauces in tightly sealed containers so that they don’t ruin the entire meal with a spill. With these precautions, you’ll be able to avoid a less than optimal customer experience.
Let Your Followers Know That You Are Open For Business
Many loyal customers will be happy to support you during this difficult time. However, they may not be aware that you’re serving a takeout menu unless you let them know.
Make sure to get the word out to your following that you are maintaining a takeout menu. Publicize the details and share how patrons can pick up their food or have it delivered directly to their door. You might be surprised at how generous your community of faithful patrons can be. Of course, times are tight for many people in our country, but so many are ready and willing to help their favorite restaurants survive.
Consider COVID-19 Financing Relief For Restaurants And Bars
Restaurants and bars can pivot to a takeout-only model for the time being. Although your loyal customers will likely do their best to support you in this trying time, it may not be enough to keep your operations running smoothly.
With the uncertainty hanging in the air for weeks, it might be time to consider applying for small business financing relief. You can use the funds to stay afloat as the COVID-19 situation continues to unfold.
We have taken the time to research some of your options. Here are a few ways to move forward:
Take Advantage Of Free Resources
As business owners grapple with the effects of COVID-19, many resources have been made available for free. A few of those include small-business relief funds offered by Yelp through free advertising, free learning courses to improve your businesses through LinkedIn, and free social media scheduling help from Hootsuite.
Sell Gift Cards Online
If you are struggling to provide a profitable takeout service to your customers, then consider offering online products. You can take this opportunity to sell gift cards for a meal in the future. The money can help you get through the next few months, but your customers do not need to order food if they are uncomfortable.
SBA Disaster Loans For COVID-19 Financing Relief
A final option is to take out a loan offered through the Small Business Administration (SBA). Currently, there are two options being offered:
- Paycheck Protection Program. With this option, the goal is to keep you and your employees employed for as long as possible. You’ll be able to apply for a loan to help your business make payroll for up to 8 weeks. This could be a lifeline for you and your employees.
- Economic Injury Disaster Loan. These funds are intended to pay for business expenses such as sick leave for employees who are unable to work due to the impact of COVID-19. The funds can be used for payroll, rent, other debts, and more. In some cases, you may qualify for an emergency advance of up to $10,000 that functions like a grant because you will not be required to pay it back if you are denied the loan. See our small-business guide to the SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan here.
The Bottom Line
The COVID-19 situation has upended the way that businesses run across the country. As a restaurant or bar owner, you might be facing significant challenges. Take the opportunity to pivot your business model to suit the current needs of your customers.
If you need help securing COVID-19 financing relief for your restaurant or bar, then please contact us at Rapid Finance. We can help you navigate the process to secure the financing you need to survive this current situation.