The world is different today than it was even three months ago. The COVID-19 pandemic has shaken the foundation of our way of life. Each facet of the economy has been forced to adapt to the new demands placed on businesses and consumers. The accompanying guidelines and restrictions have heavily impacted the way restaurants are able to do business.
Unfortunately, this outbreak of COVID-19 is more than likely not the last and, chances are, we’ll find ourselves with social distancing guidelines for quite some time. According to Dr. Anthony Fauci, White House health advisor, “The virus will certainly make a comeback in the U.S. even as cases begin to stabilize.” If that’s not enough to convince you that you need a pandemic preparedness plan, here are three more reasons.
1. To Keep Your Staff Healthy and Productive
Your operation is wholly dependent upon the productivity of your staff. An unhealthy staff is an unproductive staff. Here are five measures you can take to protect your staff’s health.
Rotate shifts in order to minimize employee exposure to one another. Consider halving your staff into A day shifts and B day shifts in order to reduce the number of coworkers they each come into contact with when they come into work.
Take each employee’s temperature at the beginning of each shift. If the employee is running even a low fever, require the employee to leave the premises immediately.
Put proper handwashing practices in place. Educate your staff about proper handwashing. Place visual reminders in easy-to-see places within the kitchen. Allow staff members to take scheduled hand washing breaks.
Space employees at least six feet apart in the kitchen. Ensure that your staff is placed appropriately far enough apart to accommodate social distancing rules. That means at least six feet apart. Visual cues on the floor, such as masking tape markers indicating six feet between stations can help with this.
Make masks a must. In order to make sure that social distancing is as effective as possible, requiring staff to wear masks will not only protect your employees, but also the customers you are serving.
Download Now: Pandemic Preparedness Guide for Restaurants
2. To Protect Incoming Revenue
It’s crucial to make sure you have plans in place to protect incoming revenue. In order to operate effectively and profitably, you need to have these technologies in place:
Online ordering: Allow customers to place orders and make payments online. This will reduce the amount of order errors made by taking customer orders over the phone.
Order fulfillment and payment: Offer customers safe options to receive their orders and make their payment, if they haven’t already, online. This includes curbside pickup and drive-thru. Using an app, like FocusON, will allow your staff to take contactless payments quickly. It will also reduce chargeback fees. When customers are asked to give a credit card number over the phone, your staff must manually enter the credit card number. The customer can dispute manual entry transactions and force a reversal of the original payment.
Delivery management: Many customers are opting for delivery over curbside pickup and drive-thru. Mis-managed delivery functions can turn into a huge cost center. Delivery management software streamlines your delivery processes and ensures that your delivery service is profitable during even the most uncertain of times.
Additional ideas include having a courier leave food at the door for delivery, or setting up tools that notify customers via text when their orders are ready, so they can easily run in and out to pickup their orders.
3. To Keep Costs to a Minimum
Protecting revenue is two-fold. Not only must you think about incoming revenue streams, you must closely monitor outgoing revenue. The two biggest cost centers for restaurants are labor and inventory.
To optimize your labor force, ask yourself a few key questions:
- What are the key functions you need filled during a shift?
- What times have been the busiest for your restaurant during the first wave of COVID-19? You’re no longer operating under normal circumstances. Pull POS data from the past few weeks only. When were your customers the most active in their requests for pickup and delivery orders?
- How many hands do you need on deck to meet demand when it is at its highest?
- How many hands do you need on deck during those slower periods? Does it even make sense to be open during those times?
- Should you consider changing your hours of operation all together?
To reduce inventory waste and streamline your inventory management, ask yourself these questions:
- What items do you have on hand that you could create bulk meals from?
- What items have a longer shelf life in order to minimize the amount of ordering you need to do?
- How can you make the most of your existing inventory? For example, consider specials that use perishable items in order to clear them from inventory shelves. inventory? For example, consider specials that use perishable items in order to clear them from inventory shelves.
Asking yourself these questions and putting solutions in place will help minimize costs associated with labor and inventory.
Don’t get caught unaware again.
The likelihood of a COVID-19 second wave is very high. Don’t get caught unawares. Use these methods to get your pandemic preparedness plan started. Download the full Pandemic Preparedness Guide for additional guidance.
Contact Focus for help implementing the technology your restaurant needs to be agile and to continue to operate with as little disruption to cash flow as possible.