Opening a Restaurant During a Pandemic
Starting a new business is exciting and a little bit scary. In the midst of a worldwide pandemic, it might seem impossible to create a successful venture, especially in an industry like hospitality which has been hit hard this past year. Despite trepidation, new restaurants have cropped up, and some even seem to be doing all right.
COVID-19 has forced many restaurants to close forever, yet others have found unprecedented success in specific measures that increase traffic and sales. If you’re feeling brave enough to tackle a new restaurant, how do you know whether you’re ready?
Reasons to Start
If you’ve had this idea in mind for a while, you know how hard it is for the timing to line upright. Although the market is in flux now, sometimes the stars align personally when you least expect. It might be the right time to open a restaurant because…
The ideal location can make or break your business, but it may take a while to find the right space in the right neighborhood and close enough to your ideal demographics to garner customers. With so many businesses shuttering because of the pandemic, your new building could open up at any time.
Real estate is cheap as landlords try to fill up their sudden death of tenants. You can even get unheard-of deals like the first few months free, depending on where you rent.
If you’re opening a second location, then perhaps you’ve found your niche in quarantine. As restaurants turn en masse toward off-premise dining solutions, the influx of new business might be a wake-up call to shift your operations towards even more worthwhile goals.
Perhaps you already sunk time and money into opening a new restaurant, and then the pandemic came and turned all your plans upside-down. The sunk costs might be enough that you’re willing to leap regardless.
If you’re considering opening a restaurant but are scared to commit, consider trying out your concept on a smaller scale first. Pop-ups and food trucks are doing well right now since they only offer takeout, although if you already found success in your pop-up venture over the past year, maybe it’s time to think about opening a brick-and-mortar store.
After assessing the situation, if it still seems worth it, then you’re ready to leap. It’s always going to be a difficult journey to make a new business thrive during a pandemic. Marketing will be critical; find your niche, ask your competition what their guests like, and do research to make sure you’re maximizing your potential.
Social distance and sanitation will continue to play a massive role in the future of foodservice. Contactless technology had been gaining popularity before the pandemic. The way it reduces transmission risk has made customers rely on self-service and mobile ordering options even more. As they get comfortable, guests report that they want to continue using these technologies even after the virus’s threat is gone.
Certain sales channels are flourishing more than others, so lean into what works rather than getting experimental when the virus remains an evolving threat. Curbside services and delivery are thriving; if you’re running out of room in your food truck, consider sharing commercial space with other cloud kitchens. Technology and contactless service will continue to grow to get the industry through COVID-19 and beyond.
Schedule a demo with eatOS to learn how we’re ushering in the future of food service, today.