Even before the pandemic, it is challenging to open a new restaurant. You need to make sure your menu tickles the taste buds of the market. The façade and décor should also be appealing to entice people to go in and have a bite.
The pandemic increased the challenge of opening a restaurant since people are wary about going out due to the virus. The industry suffered huge losses due to the health crisis, and it will take some time before it recovers.
But it does not mean that you cannot open one, especially with the economic recovery underway. Here are some things that you should do if you plan to open a restaurant in the middle of a pandemic.
The pandemic highlighted the importance of disinfecting and cleaning the home and office. So you should make sure to emphasize cleanliness in the restaurant, not only to the employees but also to the customers. The restaurant should follow the best practices set by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) when opening during the pandemic.
Following these guidelines shows that the restaurant wants to keep its premises safe for employees and customers. The restaurant should also set up hand sanitizers in strategic locations inside its premises.
Offering takeout services also allows the restaurant to generate revenue even if a customer does not eat inside the restaurant. It also facilitates social distancing, which is essential with the recent surge in cases across the country.
Additionally, you should check with the local government for any guidelines or restrictions they are implementing in the area.
Find a Reliable Equipment Supplier
The restaurant should also have all the necessary equipment that you can use to prepare and serve the food. The type of cooking equipment depends on the food it offers on its menu. For instance, a pizzeria needs spiral spinners, conveyor ovens, a pizza deck oven, a dough box, and a pizza prep table.
On the other hand, Japanese restaurants need an automatic rice cooker, bamboo mat, and bento boxes. But you should make sure that the supplier you choose carries a wide array of commercial refrigerators available for you to choose from. This kitchen equipment is essential for food storage. So, make sure that the supplier has several options for you.
Aside from a reach-in model, the supplier should also have under-counter models, worktop models, and a refrigerated chef base. The supplier should also have all the necessary accessories and parts if you need to replace something in the equipment.
Implement a Contactless Payment System
To promote safety in the restaurant during the pandemic, you can implement a contactless payment system. The health crisis saw increased use of this system as people opted to avoid unnecessary contact on surfaces carrying the virus.
The popularity of this payment method reached a level where many people would skip a shop that did not offer it. This makes it essential for you to implement this payment system in the restaurant you plan to open. The contactless system should allow customers to pay through an online payment portal, mobile application, or a QR code that requires scanning to make a payment.
You can also install near-field communication (NFC) technology to allow customers to use mobile payment services, such as Google Pay, to pay for their orders using their NFC-enabled devices. These payment options allow your customers to avoid handling paper money when they pay in your restaurant.
To succeed in the food industry in the United States, you need to be creative. You should focus on finding ways how you can connect with your customers. The economy is starting to recover, and people are starting to go out of their homes. You can intensify your marketing campaign to reach these potential customers and entice them to visit your restaurant.
But you can also try to connect with homebound potential customers who are not keen on visiting restaurants until the pandemic is over. With these customers, you can offer pre-packaged meals that they can cook at home. You can also provide online video cooking lessons that these customers can follow when preparing meals at home.
You can also offer live entertainment by partnering with local musicians who can stream their performances through your website. This allows you to increase your customer base to include people who want to watch performances online while having their meals. It also allows you to help another industry that was significantly affected by the pandemic.
Opening a new restaurant during a pandemic can be challenging. But if you learn to adapt to the situation, you can increase your chances of succeeding.