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Start to Prepare Your Restaurant for “Back to Business as the New Usual”

It is important to start thinking about your business plan as we start to return to some normalcy.

Begin to promote the New Normal Highlights on your website and social media to connect with your most loyal customers and gain some new ones.

Ideas to Consider for Transitioning to the New Normal:

  • Promote your cleaning policies and employee safeguards for food preparation such as cleaning of counters, cooking surfaces, employee use of gloves or masks and maintenance of restrooms and entrance areas.
  • Consider including the addition of pay ahead and curbside pickup and add your procedure to your website so customers know where to park and how to let you know they have arrived to pick up their order.
  • Use your website and social media to explain your dining in process to keep social distancing.
  • You may consider that changing to reservation only for dining in will help you comply with occupancy limits in your state.
  • Be strategic in planning your reopening. Think of ways to easily turnover tables. Using paper table cloths are effective and fun for kids to draw on and provide for easy clean up.
  • Start a text system to let customers know their table is ready.
  • Have a clear path for use of restrooms and exiting the restaurant to keep patrons from walking too close to others that are still dining.
  • Add pictures to your website and social media to showcase your new dining setup to show customers your restaurant is a safe place to dine.
  • Create distance between tables to continue social distancing.
  • Advertise your cleaning regimen between table guests to let customers know keeping them safe is your top priority.
  • Let customers know if anyone is exhibiting symptoms of being sick, they will not be allowed in the restaurant. This precaution will help your patrons feel comfortable in a dine-in setting.

New Normal Restaurant Promotional Ideas

  • Think out of the box for ways to reward repeat customers with discount offers or promotions to return. A free appetizer is a great way to promote a trip back.
  • Talk to local companies to offer their employees discounts to drum up business.
  • Text special offers or entice customers to come in for daily specials.
Our team understands the challenges businesses are facing during this crisis. Please reach out to a member of Withum’s Restaurant, Food and Beverage Group with any questions or concerns.

What is the New Restaurant Experience for Customers?

A majority of the Florida restaurant industry has reopened, but with guidelines in place for the safety of customers and employees. Most counties in FL now allow 50% capacity for indoor dining and outdoor dining is permitted at no capacity if social distancing is practiced. As we are seeing the new dining experience unfold in FL and other states,  customers may see the below measures put into place for dining-in:

  • Use of disposable plastic silverware and menus
  • More outdoor dining rather than indoor seating
  • Many restaurants are only accepting reservations to control capacity levels
  • No indoor waiting for table reservations. Restaurants will text/call the customer when their table is ready
  • Specific routes to restrooms and exits
  • Marked floors to maintain 6-feet distance
  • Employees wearing masks and temperatures taken daily
  • Touchless pay using apps on your phone

Regional Resources

  • The New Jersey Restaurant and Hospitality released re-opening guidance for dining in operations.
  • The Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association published Phase 2 of the Florida’s Recovery re-opening guidance.

By showing your customers that you are keeping their best interest at heart will prove you are loyal to your customers and will keep them loyal to you.

Restaurants, Food and Beverage

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