There’s no avoiding the current topic of how Covid-19 has affected the foodservice industry. First came social distancing, then, the limitation on gatherings. Now, with several Bay Area counties announcing a “shelter-in-place” order for residents, there is no doubt that restaurants will be among the most affected businesses. Fortunately, we can find ways to weather out this seemingly relentless storm.
Many restaurants are already familiar with and work with at least one food delivery service. To broaden their market share, the food delivery industry has gotten quite innovative. Other than delivery apps, there are other ways customers can order online for food delivery. We can now use certain smartwatches and Smart TVs to order meals without even leaving the couch. Diners can also order food by tweet or Facebook Messenger. Some food delivery providers and casual dining outlets use a virtual assistant to reply to orders which makes the online ordering process more personal.
Packaging to-go meals in eco-friendly disposables and improving the quality of take-out menus will also give your restaurant an edge when compared with other outlets offering take-out. Outlets which charge a fee for to-go boxes may also consider eliminating box fees during this time to encourage patrons to choose your establishment.
In addition to food delivery, you can consider offering curb pick up from your restaurant. Not only is this service an added benefit for outlets which already have limited dine-in capacity, this is a convenient option for diners who don’t feel comfortable giving their credit card information to delivery services. It’s important, though, to have enough staff keeping a look out for pick up arrival so customers don’t need to wait for their food.
While we are all hoping that things will return to normal soon, with patrons venturing out to enjoy their meals at your establishments, we hope our ideas can help alleviate some of the stress during this uncertain time.