At Volanté we are partnered with thousands of food-service operators across a wide range of industries. Each of these industries has been impacted differently as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. We have created six tips for operators who may be experiencing down-time to help ensure smooth and efficient operations when business returns to normal.
Review Your Data
Take this time to find your best selling menu items over the last year. What do your customers like? What are your customers missing that they will be eager to eat again when you re-open? Plan your seasonal menus so you can prepare and get creative for summer and fall. Look at your average transaction size, and strategize ways you can make improvements to help increase it through combos or add-ons. Look at your sales reports for different days of the week and times of the day. Using this information can help you prepare your operations to be properly staffed at the correct times.
Investigate Cashless Options
Due to the new safety concerns caused by COVID-19, customers will favor cashless and contactless options when they shop. Do you have credit cards with EMV (tap) enabled? Where can you reduce cash handling? Maybe Self-Serve Kiosks can help limit contact. Some other options you might want to implement include payroll deduct, meal plans, and gift cards. All these options will help your customers feel more comfortable when dining at your business.
Call Your Customers
You probably miss your regular visitors as much as they miss you! If you have their information, give them a call or send an email. Maintaining these relationships that you’ve spent so long building is really important during this time.
Plan Your Menu
Look at your best-selling menu items, and make sure you are well stocked for when your customers return in the coming weeks or months. Take a few steps back and do some of your menu planning in advance.
Train Your Team
It’s important to make sure staff are well trained on your menu items, Point-of-Sale terminals, and technology in your dining venue. Having well-trained staff can help reduce errors and transaction times while improving the guest experience.
Analyze Your Technology
When operations return to normal, adopting new practices in the post-COVID-19 world will help you be a resilient business operator. Investing in potential new technologies is going to go a long way for your operations. When operations return, there is going to be a strong demand for improved dining experiences. Do you have pick-up/mobile ordering options for your guests? Do you have touchless payment options? Is your cafeteria physically able to handle potential remaining social distancing measures? Do you have digital menu boards to replace having to touch physical paper menus? All these technologies will give your customers peace of mind and increase safety.
We would also like to thank all the food-service operators and those still working on the front lines during this time. We greatly appreciate what you’re doing and are very thankful for your work.
Speak to a food-service expert from Volanté if you’d like to learn more about the many ways that we may be able to help you.