While 2020 delivered unprecedented times, we will get through this and come out stronger. We can use our experiences and our knowledge to adapt.
Here are five things to focus on as we continue to forge ahead in 2021 and beyond.
- To-go and delivery continue to be very important.
With some pandemic dining limitations likely to continue for a while into 2021, it is still important to focus on your to-go and delivery business. Even after the pandemic subsides, to-go will be important. Before the pandemic, they were big trends…with busy customers looking for easy dining options to fit into their busy lives…and there is no stopping that trend.
- Look for an increased demand for digital ordering and digital payment.
Along with an increase in to-go and delivery comes an increase in digital ordering and digital payment. These are all conveniences largely driven by technology, which is why it makes sense to work on as many of them together as possible. At the very least, make sure your website is up-to-date and that there are clear ways included there to order.
- Focus on food and health safety.
Whatever precautions you are currently taking with the pandemic, you should plan to continue them into the future, as well. Make sure your staff training is up-to-date, including personal hygiene, following sick procedures and how to keep the restaurant clean and safe. People are now used to these safety measures, and it will likely be important to them for some time to come, if not from now on indefinitely.
- Recognize customers’ changing perceptions of value.
Customers are trying to keep our restaurants going, but they also have budgets and may have financial challenges due to the pandemic. We need to offer value to keep them coming back, through options like reduced portions and meal deals.
- Make it a special point to reach out to customers and staff.
This pandemic has taught us the importance of keeping in touch. Keeping customers well informed, staff updated and reaching out to everyone on a regular basis through meetings, social media and ad campaigns helps keep us top-of-mind and show how we care for our patrons and communities. Staying connected also helps everyone’s mental health, which is important considering the challenges we have all been facing.