There are three ways to make your restaurant stand out from the crowd while the chips are down. Community involvement, a strong brand, and the ability to make changes to meet customers where they’re at are all things you can do to show your business is different and better than the competition. From being involved in the community to building relationships and trust, there are three projects you might want to deploy if looking to build on the success of your restaurant.
1. Community Involvement
After an unconventional year and in the midst of a pandemic, restaurant owners have had to make changes to keep their doors open. In using technology and with ideas they might not have considered before, like software development planning for data catching and online take-out services, these forward-thinkers have found new ways to connect to the community for the first time.
The connections don’t have to begin and end with technology or even come with a hefty price tag. As we move into 2021, the most successful restaurants are already planning for the future customer and business needs.
Eventually, the pandemic will be over. For this reason, it’s time to start thinking about community involvement. When it’s safe to operate at full capacity, customers will be inclined to go out. They will have missed social opportunities and want the connection being in person brings. For this reason, it’s a good idea to think about ways to fill those needs now. From event nights and community gardens to movie nights, game events, and even live performances, making a tentative schedule of events, a detailed plan, and inviting the community back will pay off. You have the extra time now, you might as well use it to focus on the future.
2. Eco-Friendly Branding and Policies
Like it or not, the next generation is the future. More and more, customers are looking for eco-friendly options. No matter your politics, the next generation is said to be more environmentally friendly than before. For this reason, when looking into supplies like disposable cups, foam cups, mugs, plastic cups, paper cups, or other utensils, you’ll want to think of ways to employ an environmentally conscious buying strategy to give your customers peace of mind. While this could mean changes in how you do things and impact your budgeting, doing this now could mean a pay off later if you build it into your branding.
While there is no guarantee that aligning with the community in both concerns and needs will add up to more business, taking the time to work on tweaks to your brand will put you in good shape when you open up. Think about it. Now is a time where people want your business to succeed more than ever. A grand reopening announcing brand changes could be just enough to fill immediately back up.
3. Cost-Saving Renovations
Your chance of success with projects you’re considering could hinge on making not only the right financial choices, but renovation decisions too. Look at the changes you have planned and made over the last year. Consider what shutdowns and new software programs and policies have taught you. Will you bring back your entire staff? Will you replace them with new ones? What about the facility itself? Are there cracks in the tables and loose legs on chairs? With fewer people physically in your restaurant, now is the time to think about renovation projects, too.
The first step in determining if you should do it yourself or hire a subcontractor is based on a combination of budget and your own DIY skills. Whichever way you go, you want to find cost-effective ways to make changes before things get busy. Sadly, you likely know many restaurants that have closed. Buying out their tables and chairs at reduced rates could be a way to save money and give your dining room a makeover. The same applies to your kitchen and the equipment you use.
In the end, the projects you do now don’t have to cost a lot. Money is tight for all restaurants. Considering charitable projects and plans that will keep people talking about you and make them feel more connected, they will later return the favor by supporting you. Whether your business is known for delivering lunches to essential workers or the best place in town for a post-pandemic celebration, these are the sorts of projects you want to consider now for your best shot at success in the future.