Tips for staying profitable during the Coronavirus outbreak
We are in the midst of the COVID-19 shutdown. With most states requiring the closure of any venues where people can gather, restaurants are one of the hardest hit industries.
While dining rooms are closed, there are still ways to serve your guests and make money. Always remember, restaurants are a key player in local food distribution networks.
And compared to grocery stores, which can become crowded, restaurants are in a better position to provide food within social distancing guidelines.
Here are the top ways restaurants are adapting service to maintain business profitability without a dining room.
How to Adapt
Notify Guests That You’re Still Open
One of the most important things to do is market your new business model to your customers. Export your CRM database with all of your customers’ addresses, emails and phone numbers.
Use email blasts with a service like Mailchimp, send postcards with discount codes and consider calling your best customers. Make sure to offer gift cards to them, too!
Rezku POS includes CRM and customer tracking at no additional cost. For help exporting your CRM database for marketing purposes, just contact us.
Sell Discounted Gift Cards
A great way to get cash now is to sell gift cards. To encourage more gift card sales, offer discounts such as “Spend $20 or more on takeout and you can buy a $50 gift card for $40, to use on your next purchase!” Remind your customers that buying a gift card is like purchasing a bond for their favorite restaurant!
Modify Your Menu
Another way to adapt to is to modify your menu. There is nothing wrong with simplifying your menu or adapting it to be more convenient for takeout and delivery service. Feel free to add items that you wouldn’t typically serve and to limit expensive items or those that require a lot of prep.
Service Types to Offer
At this time there are no rules against takeout ordering! As long as guests are not staying in the dining area and eating at tables they are free to come pick up their orders.
Setting up a sign outside big enough for people to see while driving by is a start, but follow the marketing tips above as well.
This is a highly efficient way to serve customers that harkens back to the old 1950’s car hops. You don’t need to wear roller skates to provide this service! Rezku POS can be loaded onto your wireless iPad, and using mobile EMV card readers you’re ready to take orders and payment carside.
Curbside pickup is easy and limits too much contact as well. Customers can call in their orders and notify you when they have arrived. Hand off the food and they’re on their way. And as stated above, if you still need to settle payment, you can swipe their card and have them sign-on-screen for paperless authentication.
You may not have done delivery before, but this is a great time to get into it. If you had servers in front of house who are no longer getting hours, see if they’re interested in being your delivery drivers -- at least until lockdown is over.
Rezku POS has great delivery features included to help you transition, without having to use 3rd party services that take a cut of your profits. Online ordering with delivery zones, delivery fees and delivery tickets with driver information are all included!
Changing To Meet Needs
Alcohol To Go
Many municipalities have loosened the rules about alcohol sales, temporarily allowing restaurants to sell beer, wine and even cocktails to go. This is a huge boon to the many businesses who depend on the higher profit margin of alcohol sales. Inquire about programs in your area that will allow you to boost your bottom line by selling alcoholic beverages to go.
Chef-Prepared Meal Kits
Meal kits are already popular, but with everyone staying at home this market is expected to grow even more. There is relief knowing that you can pick up all the fresh ingredients you need, designed around chef-inspired recipes, while avoiding crowds at the grocery store searching for ingredients.
Grocery Delivery & Pickup
On the topic of spotty supply chains and grocery store overcrowding, some restaurants are using their ability to source raw materials to offer grocery services. Since restaurants can acquire high quality ingredients at wholesale prices this can be a profitable side business. And it is a must-have service for health-conscious consumers in your local community.
Pay on Pickup
Your customers can call in their orders or order online using the “pay at pickup” option. For regulars and small orders this can be an easy to facilitate option. Depending on your pickup options they can pay at the POS by simply recalling their order. Or you can meet them at their car to take payment on a mobile Rezku POS tablet with EMV payment hardware.
Encourage phone orders for pre-paid pickups. Rezku POS integrates with caller ID boxes, making phone ordering quick. When a call comes in, the phone number is matched with the customers in your CRM database automatically. Rezku’s EMV payment terminals with keypads can be used for over-the-phone card entry, fully encrypted and secure.
Online Ordering and Payment
Rezku POS provides a fully featured online ordering and payment platform included with service. This system allows you to post your menu online, with orders that transfer directly to the POS and print in the kitchen.
Online payments can also be added, speeding up deliveries and pickups while reducing the chance of incomplete orders.
There are many options available for adapting to the COVID-19 restaurant shutdown. As situations change so do the needs of your customers. All business is about serving the needs of the community, and you’re in a great position to help your customers stay at home and avoid the crowds.
Since 2012 Rezku has been providing innovative market-leading technology solutions to restaurants. And the Rezku team is always available to help you make the most of your food service business. Even in trying times.
Contact us today to learn more about how Rezku POS can help you. With the absolute best value in restaurant point of sale, Rezku gives you more, so you can accomplish more!