Tuesday, December 29, 2020

How To Save Your Restaurant Business. The Covid 19 Plan


(By; Chuck Thompson)

In the age of Covid 19, Restaurants are taking a major hit and are hurting financially like never before.  A business already known as very difficult to make money in, the restrictions of Covid 19 by government are making it nearly impossible for any owner of any restaurant to survive.  

  The latest ideas are curbside pickup or takeout are being pushed as owners try to find a way to survive in this new business climate.  The dinning in experience is now dead thanks to the new regulations.  Some still venture out for the dine in experience but the idea of having to wear a mask in between eating just does not sit right with many.  But it's the only choice given to the mass number of folks.

  What if we could devise a better plan?  Well this article is designed to help do just that.  I am not saying it is going to work, or that it will work for the majority, but it has tremendous potential.  A plan that lowers costs to the owner and increases potential sales across the board for the owners.  This can work for single owner establishments as well as very large national chains.  I call it the minimalist plan.  

  So what is the minimalist plan?  Here goes.  I propose that restaurants pick one menu item per day to serve for both lunch and dinner.  What that means.  If you are a sit down restaurant, the menu item could be for the day, Chicken Cordon Blue, French String Beans and Rice as the meal.  This meal can be adjunct with extra sales of say a dinner salad, and another adjunct of desert.  A sign is put out of what the meal of the day is.  This cuts the cost of preparing your full menu on a per order sale.  Everything can be prepared ahead of expected rush times and kept warm and fresh until sold.  What this accomplishes is a much lower food costs, lower labor costs and lower utilities costs.  You know what your customers will be ordering as they can only order what you have to offer.  

  Now I would not keep the same menu everyday.  The menu would change daily.  You can choose a 7 day cycle menu or a 14 day, 21 day, or even a 30 day menu cycle for your offers.  You can serve each customer much faster.  A switch in the menu each day could be instead of the main menu item, you could sell someone a full size salad instead of a dinner salad.   But that would be the only variation I would offer in order to keep costs down and service up.  If folks wish to dine in, they can do so but the offer is still the same and comes packaged in the same manner, again, to keep costs down.  

  Packaging is all throw away takeout style.  Even in house sit down dining.  Drinks are non alcoholic and sold in cups the same way as done in the fast food chains.  For sit down, drinks can be whatever you are allowed to legally sell.  If you are allowed to sell to go alcoholic drinks, then by all means never look a gift horse in the mouth.  

  Now, with lower costs it would be a good idea to lower the costs of the daily offering.  I myself do not want to pay full menu price for less than a full experience.  I have not been to a full service restaurant since Covid began.  To me, there is no longer a value in it.  But I am still willing to pay for a decent meal prepared, just not the full price of the sit down experience.  Some are and that's great.  I am not.  Now this isn't the only idea to use here.  This same plan can be put into play and used as a way of attracting new business and still maintain your normal daily restaurant business routine or use this as the main plan and supplement with a smaller version of what was once your main menu if you go such route.  Now these are just ideas.  I offer them as I do not like seeing businesses going out of business because of government interference.  I am working on other ideas that I hope to get up for other brick and mortar businesses that are equally being hurt by Covid 19.  Cheers.

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