May 13, 2020

Can your restaurant afford to re-open?

Can your restaurant afford to re-open?

Covid-19 has devastated the hospitality industry. The impacts will be felt way into the future, or until there’s a cure.

5 burning questions to consider right now:

1. 30-50% Occupancy Rates

A combination of factors gives rise to these numbers less tables due to social distancing and a limit of guests permitted to sit on one table.

2. What Needs to Change Now

The short answer is everything:

  • Menus must be simplified
  • Set/fixed price menus with no more than 12 options offered: 4 Starters/4 Mains/4 Mains
  • Seating times limited to a maximum of 1.5 hours /sitting
  • 30 minutes allocated to doing a table reset and total restaurant hygiene clean      

Simplified Menus: To minimise labour, produce costs and turnaround times full menu offers must for now take a back step.

Set/fixed Price Menus: Spend per guest is critical to survival. With lower guest head count this seems the most logical option to maintain sales/profitability.

Seating times: Guests will understand they’ll have 1.5 hours to enjoy a dining experience.

Clean and Reset:  A 30-minute window should be allowed between sittings for a total re-set, clean down ready for the next intake. Most guests will be accommodating, given these new steps are for their safety, comfort and reassurance. As a thought rest rooms should be cleaned twice per sitting, more if the usage rates during a session is high

With ALL still to be revealed, it would seem a re-think of existing restaurants business and operational plans are required.

Given there are still too many unknowns right now, we offer some further considerations to keep in mind, whilst working through your re-think:

3. What does success look like?

Define what your new success looks like in terms of customer satisfaction and spend per guest?

Does your existing brand require a radical re-think, without losing guests?

4. Health and Safety

  • What health and safety requirements need to be implemented to satisfy authorities; whilst assuaging guest concerns?
  • What added investment costs are required?
  • What staff to guest ratios will you need to maintain adequate service levels whilst mindful of social distancing?
  • How many kitchen staff are required to maintain through put whilst maintaining distancing?

5. Operations

  • Does your current bookings/ reservation system handle multiple sitting time slots
  • What new stock Par levels are required to minimise waste
  • How many staff will be required to deliver the service whilst keeping an eye on costs
  • Which staff do you bring back, who do you leave out? What’s fair?
  • What new training must be introduced to back the new realities whilst re-assuring guests?

Uncertain times require radical new thinking challenging the status quo.

Those best able to adapt their existing business models to accommodate the new normal will survive short term.