Optimism is in the air as the hospitality industry reopens, and entrepreneurs are once again considering how to launch or relaunch a restaurant. This time, however, it is in the midst of a global pandemic.

Every business has been turned upside down by COVID-19, and the restaurant business has taken a beating. Those that have survived and thrived have been quick to adapt to changing restaurant COVID restrictions, excelled at meal delivery, and taken advantage of localisation and “near me” searches.

There is a lot to think about when launching a new restaurant or takeaway for the first time. In addition to the evergreen checklist of identifying your concept, creating a restaurant business plan, raising money, selecting equipment, and crafting a menu, a restaurant start-up must also adapt to new restaurant trends and revenue streams.

We have seen tremendous innovation from nimble businesses that are responding to new needs and keeping buoyant in the most tough conditions. We have compiled a list of things that can help you broaden your business perspective and come out winning.

1. Delivery-only kitchens, a new paradigm shift

Whether it is a one-time fix or a long-term commitment, delivery-only kitchens have exploded in popularity during COVID-19 and should be considered. A ghost kitchen or virtual brand, without the overheads of a typical restaurant, can provide restaurant-quality food to clients while lowering overhead expenses.

Of course, it is not appropriate for everyone. For many restaurant owners, the appeal of starting a restaurant is the opportunity to provide hospitality, and the entire experience of sitting, enjoying, and relaxing is highly valued all over the world.

When the pandemic is over, many restaurants will close their doors and return to regular locations, appreciative for delivery-only services’ ability to keep them viable, while others may choose to remain delivery-only, content to excel in a restricted selection of foods with lower overheads. Others may operate on a half-delivery and half dine-in basis, enjoying the best of both worlds.

2. Upping the ante with table ordering

Customers can order from your menu safely using table ordering. They can place full orders, pay, and order again via their mobile device by scanning a QR code at their table.

Staff will, of course, be available to answer inquiries about specials, menu items, and make recommendations. Traditional hospitality and table ordering technology, when coupled, can meet all of our needs in today’s COVID-conscious world.

3. Residential neighbourhoods are the new hotspots

The difference in start-up expenses between a food truck and a brick-and-mortar restaurant has always been apparent. Food trucks continued to operate as mobile food suppliers, taking advantage of their position as mobile food suppliers with open-air queues of clients who could socialise and pay with contactless POS systems as COVID-19 rules changed and brick-and-mortar establishments folded.

It has not always been smooth sailing, either. As lunchtime office hubs went dark, established food trucks lost their weekly market slots, but what we are seeing now is that both new and current food trucks are establishing themselves in sites that service multiple neighbourhoods to reach new customers.

4. Localisation is the IN thing

For many years, restaurants and takeaway restaurants have needed SEO-optimized websites in order to capitalise on SEO search phrases.

Lockdown constraints, on the other hand, become more important in geotagging and localization. This can be observed in the surge in popularity of “near me” searches, such as “hamburger restaurant near me” and “fast food restaurant near me,” which were two of the most popular Google search terms for restaurants in the UK last year. Geotagging and online food ordering systems are essential for new and established restaurant operations, as are searches for “restaurant meal delivery services.”

It does not have to be challenging. Your online ordering provider can help your business be more discoverable. You just have to ask before signing up if they have such capabilities.

5. Be mindful of restaurant COVID rules

The rules in each country are continually changing. Restaurants who have stayed on top of this have been able to serve guests safely with open air verandas, QR code table ordering, contactless payments, contactless deliveries, self-service kiosks, and home delivery.

It is critical to communicate with customers and potential customers in addition to quantitative measures. Including COVID-19 standards and security measures on your website and social media can provide a lot of peace of mind to customers. To create trust, keep talking honestly and factually.

6. Change things around on the menu

It is all too easy to get caught up in fads that only last a few months, but when planning your meal, keep in mind some of the most significant cultural nutritional alterations in recent years. Dairy-free, gluten-free, plant-based, and vegan foods and beverages continue to gain popularity.

Plant-based eating has become more popular as a result of trends like “meat-free Mondays” and “Veganuary.” Millennials and health-conscious consumers are good targets to have.

7. Networking and community outreach

If the epidemic has taught us anything, it is that community and connections have tremendous power. Look for the national restaurant organisation in the country you are in. Typically, such organisations provide advice on recognised suppliers, utility discounts, training and counselling, and lobbying for the sector as a whole. Peer-to-peer networking is frequently enabled, and establishing connections on a local or national level can be extremely beneficial.

We are living in unprecedented times, and businesses are evolving and trying out new things to stay relevant and competitive. While the above sections give some generic pointers, you would do well to analyse where your restaurant business stands in the overall scheme of things, figure out the best solutions and innovate accordingly.

Published On: June 8th, 2021 / Categories: Digital Marketing, Marketing Strategy /