Running a Restaurant During a Pandemic

The United States’ restaurant industry was hit hard during the COVID-19 outbreak. By and large, restaurant owners were among the first business owners to have to shut up shop, and restaurant employees were the first to be sent home when the coronavirus swept through the U.S.‚Äîall in a bid to curb and halt the spread of the deadly virus. A year later, and the restaurant industry is still struggling to get back on its feet, with many unlikely to re-open their doors once more.

However, with a little bit of savvy, restaurant owners can still run a business despite COVID-19. Although restaurant employees cannot work from home, they might still be able to be retained, with a few adaptations to their job role. If nothing else, this can be great for your team’s mental health, to be back in the workplace and contributing. Regardless of whether you run a small business or a chain, your restaurant can open and function during the pandemic.

Getting the Band Back Together

No restaurant is worth visiting without the team members who make it work, and a good business owner is going to recognize that. However, if you are going to bring all of your restaurant workers back, there are some lessons that will have to be learned first. Now that the pandemic has brought health care back into the public consciousness, it might be worth looking into the perks that working for you provides. Small businesses are not exempt from this, as many restaurant workers are going to be nervous as to whether they can afford their medical expenses should they get sick.

Bigger Perks

Top of the list of new perks should be sick leave. With a virus that incapacitates for weeks, sick days are just not going to quite cover your employee shortfall. Sick leave will help your staff feel at ease not only about returning to work, but affording their time off too. You can go further than this, however.

Obviously, if you are a small business owner, you might be asking yourself can restaurant owners provide health insurance to employees? The short answer is yes, of course, they can. However, there will be a few changes that need to be made with the business first. Changing a few menu items, increasing costs, and saving others to spend on health plans for your restaurant workers will go a long way. Plus, coming off the back of this pandemic, many of your customers will be understanding of the changes that you must make in order to ensure the health and safety of your staff.

Also, not to put too fine a point on it, but with so many other restaurants being forced to close, you might find yourself with an influx of new customers anyway, so your new costs could very well be taken care of. If your restaurant workers are worth keeping on, then you can appreciate that it’s not easy managing expenses while overcoming a major illness like the coronavirus.

Should they be exposed to this, or simply fall victim to another event that requires health care like a heart attack or chronic condition, then they’d be grateful for the health plan that you’ve provided. This is the best way to entice new restaurant workers to join your business (and thus, new customers as the two are causally linked) and show that you are a very conscientious and compassionate small business owner in difficult times.

Moving Online

You might not be able to bring people into your restaurant‚Äîespecially if CDC considerations and guidelines for running an eatery‚Äîbut you can take the restaurant to the people. If you haven’t already, look into getting yourself a website and a payment system that can be used by your customers to order food online. Your kitchen staff will already be well versed in preparing food safely, and your waiting staff can double up as order takers and even delivery staff if needs be.

As well as the obvious security benefits that having cameras will bring, you should look into getting yourself some video cloud storage and help your website go the extra mile. By hosting videos of the food being prepared, as well as all of the measures that you’re taking to keep running during the pandemic, you should be able to put your customers’ minds at ease, as well as entice new ones to select your business. This, coupled with photos of your delicious food, is bound to make anyone want to dine with you.