Restaurants may not be the hardest-hit industry in this COVID-19 pandemic, but it will face the biggest change after the lockdown is lifted. No longer will diners be able to rub elbows with other diners. Some tables will be left open to practicing physical distancing. Even the way people are going to order from the menu will change. A physical menu may not be ideal anymore because things can’t change hands anymore. There might be a new way of ordering food from restaurants, whether it be fine dining or a fast-food restaurant.
If you own a family pizza franchise, how are you going to adapt to the new norm? The new norm involves physical distancing. How can people be physically distanced at a pizza parlor? What is going to happen in grocery stores, malls, and fast-food restaurants? Can people ever go to bars again?
Experts believe that one of the sources of the spread of the coronavirus is money. As money and cards change hands, people have literal contact with the virus. Restaurants must begin adopting a new way of receiving payments. While there are a lot of people using Apple Pay and other forms of contactless payments for their purchases, this is more of an exception than a rule. Food and beverage businesses should invest in technologies such as key fobs, smart cards, radio-frequency identification (RFID), near-field communication (NFC), and mobile bank applications.
Since people are not going to be allowed to dine in that much anymore, deliveries will be the primary method of “eating out.” Families will gather around the kitchen table with trays of delivered food. That coffee shop you love staying at to read your favorite book? That might no longer be possible in the new norm. You’ll have to make do with getting your favorite Starbucks coffee to go. Paying with cash will not be the new norm, too. Food should be paid for before the delivery guy gets to your door.
Bars and clubs are one of the hardest-hit industries during the COVID-19 pandemic. Large gatherings will no longer be allowed. This means that bars cannot operate the same way anymore. So what should bars do? They will have to bottle their signature cocktails and mocktails. They have to change their business model. They might have to downsize and sell these bottled cocktails at take-out counters.
Unfortunately, some businesses won’t be able to survive such a huge hit. If they have to close down, they have another option. They can move to social media and sell their products from there. While there will be no actual stores, you can sell your food items solely via social media. A lot of home-based food businesses are already doing this today, so why can’t you adapt to this new norm?
Restaurants, bars, and fast-food restaurants need to be innovative in this new phase of the business. Dining out might never be the same again, but this does not mean that your customers will not expect the same quality food and service. Make sure that even if you cannot accommodate them the same way before, they will still remember and be loyal to your brand.