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How to Manage Your Restaurant Amid COVID-19

While many industries have it rough because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the coronavirus has hit restaurants particularly hard. Even famous chefs like Tom Colicchio—whose restaurants have been bolstered by years of appearing on Bravo’s award-winning culinary reality television show, Top Chef—are describing the depression the restaurant industry is facing as a situation unlike anything else the sector has ever faced.

Beyond having to fire or furlough many staff members, restauranteurs also faced a damning report this week when the Center for Disease Control released new information about a study linking seated-dining to an increase in coronavirus cases. According to the CDC report, “Case-patients were more likely to have reported dining at a restaurant (any area designated by the restaurant, including indoor, patio and outdoor seating) in the 2 weeks preceding illness onset than were control participants.” So, how do you manage your restaurant amidst COVID-19? Here are a few strategies to keep in mind.

Come up with an online ordering solution.

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With the latest CDC research and many states’ phased approaches threatening to move backward and eliminate seated dining, (not to mention varying comfort levels amongst customers) it’s important that you have an online ordering solution. Online food delivery and contactless pickup have surged in the wake of self-quarantining and social distancing measures, with customers flocking to platforms like Uber Eats, Doordash, Postmates, Caviar, Chow Now, Grubhub, and more. All of these separate tablets can be tough for a small business to juggle in real-time, which is why many are looking to a solution like Cuboh, which can simplify your restaurant’s online ordering process in a major way.

Cuboh unifies your ordering systems so you only need to use one tablet for your POS. Cuboh integrates with all of the features you need to run robust online ordering, including giving customers prep times and handling refunds and upcharges. Cuboh also unifies your data analytics into one centralized place, so you don’t have to stitch together multiple spreadsheets from different delivery apps just to come up with the metrics you need to make informed decisions as a business owner. Cuboh is trusted by major restaurants like IHOP, Ben & Jerry’s, and The Cheesecake Factory, so you know that it’s great for any type of business regardless of your restaurant’s size or menu variety.

Investigate your insurance options.

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In the midst of the pandemic, it may be worth comparing types of business insurance to see what sorts of options you have. For example, public liability insurance, professional indemnity insurance, and personal accident insurance all have different kinds of weight in the wake of COVID-19. Seeing what your policies cover can help you set your business up for continued success during and after the pandemic.

Adjust your goals and priorities.

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Obviously, your sales goals are going to change when customer behavior is also shifting so dramatically. That being said, COVID-19 has come with plenty of success stories where caterers or restaurants have expanded to do even more business during the pandemic because they’re offering food delivery. Especially in this moment of rapid change, you need to have clear priorities and benchmarks to meet as a business owner, and that’s where something like the OKR framework can come in.

OKR stands for objectives and key results and is a framework of goalsetting that makes success a black and white question with no room for any grey area. It starts with you defining what objectives are key to your strategic plan, then aligning your entire organization around that strategic plan on a quarterly basis. At the end of the quarter, you’ll reflect on whether or not you met the key results necessary to have achieved that objective or not. Especially during a time of major upheaval, OKR tracking can help ground your restaurant’s performance.