Food Service Businesses Doing Well in 2021
The COVID-19 pandemic wreaked havoc on the restaurant industry in general. Still, some businesses are coming out stronger than before. Whether because they found their niche with a new customer base, launched sales channels that met demands just coming to light in COVID-19, or some businesses just tend to do well in hard times. The question remains: How did some foodservice thrive in a pandemic?
Plenty of restaurants offered takeout and delivery services before the pandemic, but those sales skyrocketed once shutdown orders closed business doors and kept people at home. Restaurants that previously relied heavily on these channels succeeded because they already had the menu, operational flow, and loyal customer base for this kind of work.
Meanwhile, curbside services took off this year too. It incorporates the cost-effectiveness of pickup with the touch-free safety of delivery. If your restaurant wants a convenient way to open these kinds of takeout channels, but can’t pay the high commission fees associated with third-party services, consider signing up with orderOS.
Regardless of which path you took, flexibility in your online channels matters most. Some restaurants opened drive-thru or takeout windows dedicated specifically to providing a safe walk-up experience. Others sold groceries through the same channels as their meals, to help get rid of overstock while assisting their struggling neighbors. Success lies in doing something unique and creative, to make your brand stand out while catering to changing consumer expectations.
Food Service, and Alcohol Too
Bars, breweries, and wineries struggled initially, until states legalized selling cocktails and beer off-premises. Since then, customers bored at home have been spending a lot on drinks. Though food service is reopening now, to-go alcohol would surely stick around if it were purely up to public opinion. However, it ultimately comes down to whether states extend their temporary permits.
Since they’re so popular, offering deals and running promotions on these products will encourage even more sales. Take this approach to whatever creative solution you found after the pandemic. For example, breweries that decided to bottle their craft beer and sell it at corner stores or gas stations may keep those additional sales channels even when they reopen their service floor. It’s all profit.
Meanwhile, you may need to keep a pared-down version of the menu for now. You likely already did this if you switched primarily to delivery; some dishes just won’t survive the trip home. As you start catering to other trends, like allergy-friendly options, keep your smaller menus in mind as well. This is how you’ll make every customers’ experience more worthwhile no matter how they order.
Why Some Food Service Thrived
Whether because they could swiftly transition to online ordering or were already equipped for it, some businesses thrived this past year. Successful restaurants adapted in a way that leaves them open for future growth, no matter what happens next. Survival this year boils down to this, rather than any particular business model.
Given the health risks, customers are coming in less and less often; this is also tied to capacity caps and social distance regulations. However, guests tend to splurge when they do visit. Advanced POS track sales and push deals according to what trends you notice in the analytical reports.
For example with eatOS, build profiles on each customer to delve deeper into the spending habits of your most loyal consumers. All of this will boost sales, even as you integrate additional sales channels. When you reopen dine-in seating this summer, remember that flexibility and good tech go a long way.
eatOS offers an all-in-one cloud-based eco-system exclusively for restaurants. From Point of Sale to Contactless Ordering, Pay & Order at Table, Kitchen Display System, Customer Facing Display, Online Ordering APP / Website and Workforce Management there is everything to help a restaurant succeed no matter the size. Click Here to Schedule a demo to learn more about how your restaurant can make a smooth transition into the world of restaurant technology made simple.
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