Foodservice is being significantly impacted by COVID-19, as restaurants are working through rigorous safety guidelines. Even with these challenges, operators can take the following steps to remain safe and be successful.
Sanitation discipline is essential. Demand strong personal hygiene, encouraging constant handwashing especially from employees who handle food. Gloves should be worn in the kitchen to limit personal contact with food. Use effective cleaning agents on packaging and common surfaces. Keep your employees and customers safe – and your operation running.
Adopt an effective online ordering system. Easy, effective, mobile ordering must be a focus. Offer ordering across various platforms –phone, website, text or mobile app. Expect customers to pay online to reduce one-on-one interaction and increase take-out.
Without dine-in options, operators should prioritize to-go orders. Revise menus to create travel-stable and packaging-ready offerings. Limit availability to make it easier on your reduced kitchen staff. Change it up to keep customers coming back.
Use safe and secure packaging. Containers need to be safe and convenient. Use tamper-proof seals and adhesive bands to protect your food from spills and reduce the risk of contamination. Consumers will appreciate the safety of your operation, which will increase the likelihood that they return in the future.
Provide customers with curb-side pickup so they can enjoy your food without having to expose themselves to crowds, helping adhere to social distancing guidelines.
Add a delivery service. Weigh the costs against the outreach to customers uncomfortable leaving home. Delivery staff needs hand-sanitizer and safe delivery protocols.
Finally, communicate to customers about all the steps you are taking – through email blasts, social media posts, website updates, and signs at your operation.
These important steps will help restaurants successfully adapt and prosper during the COVID-19 pandemic.