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restaurants bounce back after industry shutdown

Although every industry has been affected by the coronavirus pandemic, the hospitality sector has been hit particularly hard. With restaurants and venues forced to close for an extended period of time, many businesses were left with zero cash flow and an uncertain future.

Since lockdown restrictions have been eased, however, restaurants have been able to welcome diners once again. Additionally, government support has resulted in initiatives, such as ‘Eat Out to Help Out’, which has helped to kickstart the industry.

While many venues are now open, social distancing measures mean they’re unable to serve as many customers as they usually would. Inevitably, this reduces the company’s income and means many business owners are still in a precarious situation.

If you’re a restaurant owner, a takeaway manager or a food delivery provider, you’ll want to ensure that you’re operating as close to full capacity as possible. With these handy tips, you can boost your turnover, expand your operations and still adhere to strict social distancing guidelines:

1. Expand Your Kitchen

When you plan how to accommodate social distancing, you’re probably thinking of the number of covers you can cater for in an evening or during the lunchtime rush hour. However, this isn’t the only way that social distancing will affect your business. Members of staff are required to socially distance too, which means cramped kitchens and working in close proximity to one another are no longer permitted.

Regardless of how many patrons you can serve, you won’t be able to keep up with demand if you can only have a limited number of staff working. To circumvent this, why not expand your kitchen and create more working space?

Now might not be the right time to embark on renovating your restaurant but making temporary changes can enable you to serve more customers. With fridge freezer trailer hire, for example, you can increase food storage areas and turn indoor space into a meal prep area. Similarly, removing unnecessary equipment will increase the amount of workspace that’s available and enable staff to function optimally while maintaining a safe distance from one another.

2. Serve a Limited Menu

If you usually offer an extensive menu, you may want to scale it back while you’re getting up and running again. When your menu consists of dishes that can easily be prepped in advance, you can reduce the number of staff it takes to prepare orders as they come in. Furthermore, carefully selecting the dishes on your menu may enable you to reduce the number of ingredients you’re currently using. With reduced costs and a more streamlined workflow, you’ll find it easier to serve a higher number of customers.

In addition to this, the more quickly meals can be prepped and served, the less time customers will spend at a table. This will enable you to serve more covers while you’re open and your income will increase accordingly. The vast majority of people are well aware of the limitations restaurant owners and catering staff are facing, so don’t be concerned that a reduced menu will put them off. In fact, people are so eager to revisit their favourite venues that they’ll simply be pleased your doors are open!

3. Increase Seating Areas

You may not have any extra space indoors but what about outside? If you have a courtyard or garden, now is the time to spruce it up and use it for extra seating. With the addition of outdoor heaters and lighting, you can create a charming setting for al fresco dining.

Alternatively, take advantage of the government’s pledge to make it easier to gain permits for street service. By placing tables and chairs at the front of your restaurant, café or eatery, you can increase your capacity and highlight the popularity of your venue at the same time. If you’ve previously been denied a permit, don’t hesitate to reapply. New guidelines mean that many businesses are now able to acquire permission to modify their operations in response to COVID-19.

Overcoming Temporary Cash Flow Issues

Sadly, not all businesses will recover from the impact of the pandemic. While turnover will eventually increase, companies who don’t have the resources to deal with disrupted cash flow will find it increasingly difficult to wait for social distancing guidelines to be relaxed further. Before you give up hope, cast a fresh eye over your current operations. With some relatively minor changes, you might be surprised at how much your capacity – and income – could increase.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the businesses in question before making your plans.

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