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Keeping a Food Business Afloat during a Pandemic

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Even though the number of cases has gone down, the pandemic affects people’s lives across the country. The emergence of new variants, particularly the Delta variant that was first identified in India, has raised concerns among the authorities as it’s expected to be the dominant variant in the coming months.

Due to this, you should prepare for any disruptions if you own a business, particularly a food-related business. You should be agile and make adjustments as soon as you see issues that may affect the business. The rapid changes in the business environment make it necessary for you to know how to navigate the current health crisis. Here are some tips you can consider to allow you to stay afloat despite disruptions in the economy.

Use the Right Technology

The last decade saw technology growing by leaps and bounds. Many industries took advantage of these developments to enhance their productivity and efficiency. The food industry also saw the entry of new technology that allowed many restaurants to increase their sales.

You should stay abreast with these developments and ensure you use the right technology for your business. For instance, if you have a restaurant, you can have an online ordering and payment system since many customers look for this feature on the websites of their preferred restaurants. The system makes it easy and safe for customers to order and pay for the food they want to be delivered to them.

Contactless payments can also help you reduce person-to-person transactions, which allows you and your employees to observe social distancing while delivering the products to your customers. If you opened a physical store, setting up self-order kiosks can also do the same and reduce the risk of transmission. When you adopt these technologies, you help keep your employees and customers the same. At the same time, these technologies can enhance productivity and increase efficiency among your employees.

Plan the Schedule Properly

Scheduling refers to the time your employees should report for work. During the pandemic, you should plan this properly to reduce costs and allow your business to stay open. For restaurants, it’s best to keep labor costs within 20 to 30 percent of the gross revenue. It is among the biggest expenses in restaurants. With this, you should already know customer demand and make adjustments to the schedule appropriately.

For instance, you can assign one or two persons to open the restaurant and prepare it for opening. When customer traffic starts to increase, you can assign more people to man the different stations in the restaurant to ensure you can provide quality service to the customers. Making these adjustments in the schedule can save you thousands of dollars each month that you can use to keep the restaurant afloat.

Planning the schedule is also important in ensuring the products you deliver remain fresh when it reaches the destination. If you’re delivering products over long distances, you should use a van that facilitates cargo temperature monitoring, especially if it’s necessary to maintain a certain temperature to prevent your products from going bad on their way to the destination.

Focus on Loyal Customers

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If you already have a loyal customer base, you should focus on them and ensure you give the best service possible. You can also increase this customer base through marketing and promotions. One way to get in touch with these customers is to look at the phone numbers and email addresses of people who have their orders delivered.

You can update these customers with the latest promotions of your restaurant. You can also communicate any changes in your state’s health and safety protocols to ensure your customers know about them. This will increase their trust and confidence in your restaurant. And it will encourage customers to order again, which is good for your sales.

Be Creative

People have been staying at home for most of the year due to the shelter-in-place directives issued at the start of the pandemic. Due to this, they may be looking for something new to eat. You can take advantage of this situation and offer something new to them. You can offer off-menu items to your loyal customers.

It’s also advisable to offer these items in small and large portions since you wouldn’t know if a single person will order them or a whole family may want to get something new to eat. You can also maximize your space by repurposing part of the parking lot into a dining area. Aside from adhering to social distancing guidelines, it also makes your customers feel safer to eat at your place.

While the number of cases has gone down, you should continue to find ways to keep your food business afloat until everything goes back to normal.

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