3 Ways to Stay Profitable During Covid Shutdowns

Restaurants all around the county shut down last weekend as states set lockdown policies the likes of which haven’t been seen since the spring. As residents prepare to experience these past eight months over again, businesses are going into it both better and worse off than they were before: They have more practical experience that has left them very well prepared, but in all likelihood, they’ve got less money saved up to help get through it. If another stimulus check doesn’t come soon, more restaurants are going to join the wave of businesses shutting their doors forever.

If there’s one thing we at eatOS know about the foodservice industry, it’s that restaurant owners never give up without a fight. As a restaurant technology company, we’re here to help your business make the transition to online ordering in compliance with renewed shutdown orders. Together, we can survive this pandemic.

Flexibility

Owners have learned a vital lesson about adapting their business model this year. Flexibility the “new normal” everyone keeps talking about, and it’s what’s going to save you during the second round of restrictions. Being able to shift to takeout and delivery is key as restaurants are forced to rely on these revenue streams over the more traditional dine-in structure.

If you’ve never done delivery before, now is the time to start. With eatOS we’ll set you up with a personalized branded app designed for off-premise ordering so you can easily make the shift without investing the usual time and effort required. We do the work for you. With 60% of U.S. consumers making off-premise orders at least once a week, it’s important to go where the money is. Make it a unique experience by giving out promo codes that encourage guests to come back, donating food or proceeds to essential workers, or even just including a thank-you note in the delivery bag. Show your appreciation for their patronage during these difficult times.

Simplicity

Closing up the dining room means less revenue, so you’ll need to cut costs around the business as a result. There are a few key places you should turn to first:

  • Minimize the menu by only including items that turn the most profit. eatOS advanced Point of Sale analyzes sales data and runs reports to get this information automatically.
  • Reduce your inventory by only offering dishes with adaptable ingredients. You can buy bulk, high-quality stock for a wider variety of menu items, hold less inventory and ultimately waste less food.
  • Limit your days or hours to your most profitable times, again using the information garnered from an advanced Point of Sale.
  • Begin only accepting reservations so you know exactly how many people to have on staff at any given time, limit your inventory for the day and stay compliant with reduced capacity instructions.

Spending less on labor will help your costs significantly, all by itself. It’s the second biggest expense in the industry which should tell you how important, and difficult, it is to cut corners there. Hire flexible workers with open schedules to avoid the rampant employee turnover that plagues the industry, because incompatible schedules are one of the main reasons employees leave their jobs, and frequent recruiting and training gets very expensive.

Our integration with advanced scheduling software, 7Shifts, lets you quickly make shifts that line up with your busiest hours. Our workforce management software lets you ensure that employees clock in and out when they should, don’t go into overtime, take their breaks and more.

Finally, cross-train employees so you can put on shift at the same time. Find ways to reduce your labor costs and maintain your productivity, and you might just make it through these shutdowns intact. eatOS is here to help do just that.

Marketing

Last but not least, get the word out about what you’re doing to keep yourself, your staff, and your community safe. Announce new hours and other COVID-19 related changes that you’re making on your social media, emails, newsletters, voicemail, website, and storefront signs too so you reach all of your intended audience.

The old rules of social media are gone; it’s less important to carefully curate and time out each post than it is to be honest, transparent, and genuine about what’s going on. Show amusing behind-the-scenes footage of your staff, share your favorite recipes, and host social media contests. Keep your followers engaged and interacting with your page to stay fresh in their minds so they’ll think of you when it’s dinnertime. Overall, focus on optimizing your online presence for a new market with new priorities.

Starting takeout and delivery services is no easy feat. Make the transition smoother with advanced eatOS technology that’s designed specifically to help businesses like you run better, faster, and more efficiently. This shutdown doesn’t have to be the end: Book a demo with eatOS today and let’s join the future of foodservice together.

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