Two Ways COVID-19 May Be Advantageous for Restaurants
As the coronavirus pandemic swept the world, restaurants were ordered to close their dining rooms which required restaurant owners to pivot in order to keep their businesses afloat.
We all watched as many restaurants within the United States made an astounding shift almost overnight, changing their operations to serve customers through carryout and delivery.
While this situation was critical for most restaurants, the Nice team of restaurant branding experts has identified a couple of key points of positivity that could bring a small amount of light to a time that seemed like one of the darkest moments of all time.
Beating Coronavirus Pandemic by Building Strong To-Go and Delivery Operations
Consider this. The majority of restaurants that have survived the initial gut punch that the coronavirus pandemic served up are now running a robust takeout and delivery program.
Though the gift of time was not necessarily dished out as a premium side, restaurants had to face what many may consider the next big do-or-die situation for the industry. If they hadn't been forced into doing so, it's extremely unlikely that restaurant owners would have taken the necessary steps to fully develop their delivery and takeout structure. Prior to this, running their business on all cylinders was enough to completely fill their schedules.
During the first year of the coronavirus pandemic, we have watched restaurant owners shift their dining room operations to delivery and takeout and we've watched in awe as they have crafted new offerings that included items such as family meals and takeout cocktails, in order to adapt. These new offerings may have stayed a distant dream had it not been for the gift of extra time.
Before COVID-19, it was approximated that "60% of U.S. consumers order delivery or takeout once a week" according to Upserve.com.
As 2020 went on, the restaurant industry was looking for more innovative and convenient options through takeout and delivery. We saw this cater to the success of trends such as ghost kitchens and delivery-only concepts. After all of the restrictions placed upon restaurants that were trying to thrive in less than ideal conditions, it's nice to know that many restaurants that may have died out were able to survive due to takeout and delivery.
This new focus will not only preserve the restaurant's viability in times of ambiguity but also allows restaurants the tools they need to stay relevant when the world is allowed to come back inside at full capacity.
To-Go and Delivery Will Bring an Added Revenue Stream
The income coming from takeout and delivery currently, while some dining rooms are still closed or not at full capacity, may or may not afford what's necessary to stay operational. However, when the dine-in market returns, delivery, and takeout will just serve as an additional stream of income that's already been tested and successfully operated.
If restaurants take this time to perfect their delivery operations while their in-house dining stressors are halted, they are going to see an added layer of revenue in addition to their original stream. This added layer may potentially double or triple revenue as the dust from the coronavirus pandemic settles - and that's positive.
Now is the time to perfect your takeout and delivery offerings, systems, operations, and restaurant branding. Stay focused. Spend time testing, tweaking, reworking, and perfecting, your systems so that takeout and delivery in tandem with dine-in can be run like a well-oiled machine.
Keep in mind that during this time, you have an uncommon opportunity. Your brand has been through some difficult times in this season. Don't miss opportunities to connect with consumers to create loyalty so they'll come back time and time again. We have put together a quick guide on how to leverage connections through takeout and delivery during this time.
Our charge to restaurant owners is first, a huge giant pat on the back and hug for all that they have endured. Next, we'd like to offer the humble advice to keep innovating and finding the sweet spots for their takeout and delivery programs during this time.
If you diligently work to perfect those programs during this time, you'll see the added financial benefits as dine-in comes fully back into play.
We understand how tough times have been, but we know that our clients and other restaurants will prevail. We offer our encouragement to keep on keeping on and if you are able, consider this time as an investment into the future of your restaurant.