It’s really sad to see restaurants having to close their doors temporary, because of the rules around Corona. Some restaurants even close down forever, because they can’t pay the bills anymore.
I was thinking, what can the restaurant do to earn money, without letting their customers eat in the restaurant?
1. Buy a meal for the future
Some restaurants have been selling meals for the future using a coupon. This way the restaurant can still earn something now and give the food later. Round & Round sold cute giftcards and prepared some small gifts for their customers.
A lot of restaurants already do this. Customers can pick up their food at the restaurant or the restaurant brings the food to the customer’s home. Using Thuisbezorg, Ubert Eats, Deliveroo or using their own system. I also read about ghost restaurants or dark kitchens. This is a kitchen that only makes food for delivery.
But the restaurant will also need to think about the packaging and how to keep the food delicious after having it packed up for 30 minutes. Lazy Bear and I had ordered fancy bento-boxes from Yama before, a high class Japanese restaurant. And their packaging was also high class. They had firm boxes and also a good quality icepack in their freezer bag. They also included clear instructions on how to microwave the meat so that it still tasted delicious. It was indeed our most fancy take-out yet.
3. Selling ingredients and recipes
No food orders, means that the ingredients won’t be used. Restaurants could sell their ingredients and maybe even create recipes for the ingredients. Just like the recipe cards of Hello Fresh or even in video-form.
Also a meat provider place, The Meat Boys, that sells meat to wholesale, caters and supermarkets, started selling their meat to individual customers, like you and me.
4. Selling employee service
Employees don’t have to work in a restaurant, if there are no customers. There was a restaurant owner who offered their 80 employees as help for something else. Still using the manpower where needed.
5. Chef at home
Restaurants are closing down, but the chef can still come to your house and cook. This includes some extra service, because they have to bring their tools and stuff. The chefs need to make sure they can cook at the house. Or maybe a special cooking bus for the chef with all the tools and it’s also easy to move from one house to another.
I wonder, are the food trucks allowed to be open during restaurant-close-downs?
In general the ideas are:
- Finding a new customer for your food or service
- Finding a new way to get your food to the customer (or customer to your food)
- Selling something different
How to stay connected with your customer?
The customer will miss your food. Restaurants can keep customers updated via social media. They can share stories about new services, new dates and times, sharing photos of take out food. Let your food and restaurant still be in the minds of the customer.
How can you find new customers?
Create promotions on social media, so you can connect to friends of people who already follow you. Like creating a promotion to win something and people have to link a friend in the comments to win.
Usually people stroll around in the city and they might bump into your restaurant. But now we are encouraged to stay at home, there is not much strolling.. But now there is more scrolling… on social media.
If a restaurants shares delicious food photos, the people who see your delicious photos will get hungry. And hopefully they will send the photo to a friend and say “let’s eat here the next time we can meet!”.
I guess social media is quite a big thing…
I hope these ideas can give restaurants a bit of inspiration during these Corona days. Hang in there!
And for the rest of us, let’s think of ways to support our favorite restaurant.