Open a Restaurant During the COVID Pandemic

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What? How (you might ask) is it a good idea to open a restaurant during a pandemic where most restaurants are closing down? We’ve talked to some brand new restaurant business owners who are thriving – by thinking and doing things different than the traditional dine-in experience. Here are suggestions that can help you open your own dream restaurant too!

1. Get a Commissary

Many restaurants are going out of business due to overhead in staff and expensive payments for a large restaurant space filled with dine-in seating. Instead, lease/buy a commissary kitchen space for preparing food. These are oftentimes like shared spaces with several other restaurants preparing food in the same building. Make sure it’s fully up to government code and in a decent location relative to potential customers. You can always add patio seating or a storefront location in the future.

2. Throw up a Website for taking orders

Put up an e-commerce website for placing orders from your website. The checkout process can include a way to pre-order meals and schedule a specific hour window to pick up the order hot and fresh from the Commissary location.

3. Make prep easy

Bulk order of your ingredients and supplies straight to the commissary as you need them. This can save you lots of time, cutting down on man hours – allowing you to scale with customer demands.

4. Packaging Presentation

Make sure you use quality packaging to ensure the customer’s order is both insulated to keep hot/cold and offers for an appetizing presentation. Customers may not be dining in, but they can still rave about a great meal and post pictures online to drive awareness.

5. Go Social

Make sure you have a Facebook/Instagram with fresh content regularly. These are great “storefronts” to advertise specials to your customer base each week. Monitor your Yelp and Google ratings too. Lastly, stay in contact with your local press. They are always looking for a new story and will gladly plug your new business when you are ready. So don’t be shy.

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