For the last 18 months, COVID has dominated the world. At first the concern was, how do we stop the spread? Then, the question was, how can we mitigate it until we have a vaccine? That of course led to the question, how quickly can we vaccinate everyone against it? All of these questions have been answered, but we still have millions of people not wanting to take the vaccine.
What does it all mean for us in this business? Aside from the industry's explosive revolution in technology, delivery, virtual kitchens, tighter menus, and patio dining - when exactly do we get back to basics of restaurant service that is "hot food hot, cold food cold and service with a smile?" The unfortunate answer is we still don't know.
In the interim the industry can take certain steps to maximize profits. My firm has recommended the following to our clients:
- Streamline and simplify your menu to match what you can obtain and what you can do with less people.
- Invest in technology as much as you can. Does a tablet speed up service and eliminate a server? Does your drive-thru make use of license plate recognition software?
- Shop your 3rd party delivery vendor (if you even have one). They are now under enormous pressure from their customers, municipalities, co-ops and others. Work them!