With the anniversary of COVID-19’s arrival in the United States approaching, restaurants aren’t looking to a return to normal, but to a potential second wave, and all that comes with it. While each state will respond differently, no restaurant can rule out the possibility of lockdowns, new local and state restrictions, and enforced closures.
Restaurant owners are planning now for the next round of unknown the pandemic will throw at them. In this guide, we’ll look at how restaurants are gearing up for what 2021 might bring.
If this past year has taught restaurateurs anything, it’s that they need to be ready to adjust service at a moment’s notice. For many eateries, that means having a debriefing meeting plan in place.
How an owner communicates with their staff in a crisis can make or break how adjustments go. So it’s a good idea to put a strategy together now. Fast Casual suggests that restaurants hold a reopening meeting 30 days before opening the doors after a closure.
“Require 100% participation of staff,” Fast Casual goes on to say. “Front and back of the house staff (even part-time), management, and even ownership should participate because they can provide unique perspectives on each element of your response.” And allow the meeting to be open and honest, encouraging staffers to voice their concerns so everyone can get on the same page right away.
Prepare for Lockdowns
For restaurants in the United Kingdom adjusting to lockdowns has become business as usual, with the country now under its third national stay-at-home order. In the United States, however, the approach to the pandemic has been less severe. But with a new administration in office, Americans might have more stringent restrictions coming.
So how can restaurants get ready? Setting up to-do lists, staff assignments, and customer communications well in advance can spare everyone panic. Smart delegation is critical here. Put a team in charge of creating a document for staffers to follow that includes details such as:
- How to shut down space
- What to do with perishables
- How to handle the walk-in
- A central, manned email or phone number for staff to call in to get answers on the closure
- Clear communication copy to let the public know of changes
That’s just the tip of the iceberg, but it’s a place for teams to start developing their specific to-dos.
Don’t rule out other emergency events while focusing on the pandemic. Restaurants still need to be prepared for inclement weather and other events that could disrupt service.
Follow the Science
To stay as up-to-date as possible on the ongoing outbreaks and challenges of the pandemic, restaurant owners should follow the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention’s website. The CDC updates their information weekly, and there are many resources here for restaurants.
The World Health Organization has a robust info page for the public, which can also help guide your response.
Keep up-to-date with the local news and see how local and municipal actions might affect your restaurant operations.
Pivot to Contactless Services
One of the best ways restaurants can navigate these challenging times and continue to operate smoothly before and after a second wave is to institute contactless dining. In line with CDC recommendations for social distancing, contactless services not only reassure customers and staff that you’re taking every possible precaution to prevent the spread of coronavirus but also can help make your service more efficient.
With OneDine, a comprehensive dining solution that integrates with a restaurant’s existing POS system, contactless menu browsing, ordering, and payment are made simple. There’s no need for guests to download an app, either. For safety when dining off-premise, a guest can use Online Order Ahead from home or work to place an order without having to call or enter a building.
OneDine eliminates unnecessary contact and streamlines the ordering system, ensuring the safest way to do restaurant business. Setup is straightforward, so you can be up and running within hours.
With all of the unknowns ahead, OneDine is one service you can count on — a solution to help give diners peace of mind, help staff navigate stringent social distancing protocols, and keep everyone on your premises a bit safer. As the second wave threatens to disrupt the restaurant industry yet again, there’s no better investment than OneDine to help keep your business operating in 2021 and beyond.