Effective Ways to Tackle a Period of Slump in your Restaurant Business

Effective Ways to Tackle a Period of Slump in your Restaurant Business

In a general trade lifecycle, every business must experience a period of slump in sales. This period not only aids businessmen to take a step back and re-evaluate their approach, but also helps with enforcing multiple changes in the business model. Sadly, most businesses view this as a threat, rather than an opportunity for your restaurant to emerge stronger and better in every single aspect.

A similar situation has arisen upon the restaurant industry along with the emergence of the Covid-19 pandemic due to enforcement of lockdown in most parts of the world. Sales at every restaurant is impacted brutally and restaurateurs are trying everything, in an attempt to try and match at least their break-even points. Let’s not shoot in the dark. We formulated this article to better help restaurants tackle major concerns in these unprecedented times. Let’s have a look.

1. Not to Panic and Take Hasty Decisions

Panicking and making hasty decisions will only lead to bleeding of resources, with little to no returns on the same. On the contrary, making sure that relevant changes are enforced while minimizing costs is one of the best ways to approach this situation.

2. Find Areas Where Costs can be Saved

This is a period of little to no profit for your business. Hence, we suggest that you sit down with a pen and paper, with your accountant on a video call, and do a cost analysis. Figure out all those unnecessary expenses and immediately cut them off. For instance, due to the lockdown, most people will order food online. Hence, keeping your local restaurant closed and operating from only the kitchen will aid in cutting electricity, dishwashing, and conveyance expenses.

3. Focus on Digital Promotion

Owing to the lockdown, digital media is the only way to reach your audience base. This situation also has presented higher engagement and a better reach to a wider consumer base. Interacting with your consumer-base will allow you to stay relevant and maintain your brand image.

4. Maintain Consistency in Quality

The only thing that keeps a diner loyal to a restaurant is quality and taste. Therefore, even when operating from your virtual kitchen, it is important that you maintain your quality and unique taste parameters. This way, you can maintain loyalties of existing customers and build new ones as well. 

5. Adopt Restaurant Technology

This pandemic has enabled us to realize the importance of digitization in various industries, including the restaurant industry. A higher focus on restaurant technology will aid in not only operating efficiently with existing staff, but also enable you to expand operations with the same resources, in a post lockdown economy. Further, it also makes way for contact-less dining, making it safer for everyone.

6. Offer Promotional Deals

Design promotional deals that enable customers to order food that is within budget and allows you to gain better sales. Apart from that, creating offers that give discounts on the next order will motivate the customer to order again, aiding new sales.

We hope these pointers have given you a direction to think in and apply different tactics in your restaurant to tackle this period of slump in your restaurant business.

Future of Restaurant Business

Future of Restaurant Business

The COVID-19 outbreak has had a crippling effect on the restaurant industry business. In restaurants across India, over the past few weeks, owners have gotten increasingly used to the sight of deserted halls and the soundtrack of total, eerie silence. In many eateries, there are no happy hours and no money flowing in; electricity has been switched off in the dining areas, casting a particularly dark, motionless shadow on what used to be a lively spot in the town. 

The implementation of a countrywide lockdown by the Government of India has pushed businesses in a corner. Restaurants across the country had to adapt to restrictions such as delivery only; customers cannot dine-in, or will face total permanent closure. Select restaurants have adopted the cloud kitchen concept; with only a functional kitchen. They are focusing on food delivery to continue operations at some level.

But it doesn’t have to be as eerie as it sounds.

Transition time

For many, this sudden transition means an abrupt change of their modus operandi. Many restaurants are renegotiating terms with landlords and shifting into a revenue share model to survive. Many restaurants have gone back to the blackboard and started revamping their food menu; while some are scrambling to work out a deal with food delivery partners.

Menu Re-engineering –

  1. Shortlist the most popular/sought after items from the existing menu
  2. New items based on taste palette and local ingredients

The shortlisted items should be assessed based on required ingredients, their availability, prep-time, travel friendliness and delivery radius. This transition from dine-in to delivery can be extremely daunting, but the result can make a huge difference when it comes to bouncing back to business. It is essential to recognise the fact that this sudden change in model is a means to survive and not necessarily thrive. 

The world is changing and with that comes along behavioural changes as well. This means the social norms are constantly evolving and undergoing change. And to be able to operate in a changing world, we need a revised operating model. 

So how can we get cracking at a revised modus operandi?

Rearrange Dining Area Layout

Once this stringent lockdown is lifted, diners would want to experience what life was like before the onset of this fatal virus. This won’t be without caution and constant doubt. In such a scenario, it is important to share the precautionary measures being taken by your restaurants with the diners. One such measure is a limited seating capacity. Health advisory by WHO suggests people stay at least one meter away while socially interacting.

Rearrange your seating layout and maintain a 2-meter distance between tables to build confidence amongst diners and successfully cater to them.

Delivery only

Restaurants are a communal place for our society and provide entertainment to people from all walks of life. But not all restaurants can operate on limited seating arrangement only. In such cases, food delivery comes to the rescue. If running on usual business hours is not suitable, then restaurants can map out certain hours when the demand is high and operate during those hours. This will reduce nonessential operational cost. They can also anticipate demand, prepare a delivery-only menu and provide a wholesome meal to their diners stuck at home. 

Additionally, staff members who were once servers could work as delivery agents and sustain their livelihood.

Curbside Service and Drive Through

Many popular food joints across India have been operating on this model. The food is delightful here, and that’s what the diners come for. One such example is Rajinder Da Dhaba in New Delhi. It has a dine-in facility, but even then diners park their cars outside and enjoy a good meal in their vehicles.

If your restaurant has an ample amount of parking space, utilise it by converting it into a drive-through or curbside restaurant facility. Prepare a parking space model for crowd control. And invest in new serving containers that fit this way of serving. In case of lack of space for curbside service, restaurants can also adopt a drive-through model where diners can place an order, pick and get going.

Food Trucks

In the recent past, this operating model has witnessed a lot of interest, especially within the food festival community. Now it’s time to revamp our modus operandi and join the game. 

Once the lockdown is lifted, restaurants, especially with multiple outlets, can look to revise and adopt this. There are popular pockets in every city that have become a hub for people. One such spot is office spaces. There are plenty across our cities, and many working professionals scrolling through their Instagram looking at food. 

The first place anyone will visit, post the lockdown, is their office and it is an opportune place for your restaurant to be. Reach your diners if they can’t reach you. Create meal packs in your kitchen, dispatch them to areas where the diners have easy access. And Voila!

While all of these are ways for your business to continue operations, it is also crucial to have a sound inventory management system that helps you avoid losses. This shift is necessary as the priorities for both diners as well as restaurants have changed now.

So, let’s get cracking!

Dineout’s Instagram Live with Rachel Goenka: Ensuring Customer Delight Post COVID-19 Lockdown

Dineout’s Instagram Live with Rachel Goenka: Ensuring Customer Delight Post the Lockdown

As the world reels from the coronavirus pandemic, restaurants are among one of the most affected industries, considering the need for social distancing and scarcity of resources. Sahil Jain, Cofounder of Dineout recently conducted an informative session with Rachel Goenka, Founder and CEO, The Chocolate Spoon Company. During this session, she talked about the current plight of restaurants, various business strategies, and the prospects owing to COVID-19. Here are the highlights of the conversation.

1. Prioritize Safety Above All

Brand loyalty and trust, post lockdown, will come from showcasing better service quality and brand value. People will slowly feel more comfortable about stepping out post lockdown, if restaurants assure them of all the steps taken to ensure diners’ safety and hygiene within the restaurant. Communicate the importance of proper sanitation and hygiene, routine temperature checks, and sanitisers made available for customers as well as staff. 

Further, higher dependency on technology for communication, menu management, and posting awareness-centric content on social media platforms to educate diners’ on safety can prove to be a great method to restore the lost trust and retain brand loyalty. 

Focus on Survival

Restaurants will run on a 50% capacity, while waiting for government directives. Self-policing by restaurants while waiting for direction from the government needs to become more stringent for the sake of both, employees as well as customers. New industry entrants must stay strong, as the market is sure to bounce back. Cut costs wherever possible, and shift from high-end imported ingredients (unavailable) to local materials.

Going local and curating menus out of locally available ingredients and items make sales more profitable and enables better safety measures. The future foregrounds practices such as cloud-kitchens, home delivery, and takeaways. Further, prioritising microwave-safe packaging due to higher safety (cold items sanitized from outside, hot items can be put in the microwave directly) can be one of the best practices to adopt as it can instil better trust from diners in restaurants.  

Introduce Seamless Technology

Technology has proved beneficial for many industries worldwide. There are various touchpoints in a restaurant business where technology can work along with the staff and create a tectonic shift. Diner sentiments across social media platforms points at pre-order and table reservation being crucial. They no longer want to touch foreign objects and are willing to opt for digital menu as well as digital payment methods. DineIn by Dineout, will let diners place orders directly from their phones using a QR code.. Similarly, digital payments like DOPay will remove the need for diners to exchange physical currency. Table management will be crucial to maintain physical distancing. Dineout’s Reserve will simplify and automate this process with least human intervention. For such solutions and more, click here

Redesign your Menu and Offerings

Provision of special menu options to your target audience, based on customer feedback will ensure better walk-ins post lockdown. For instance, the Chocolate Spoon Company had created a special Parsi menu during the Parsi New Year at Nariman Point, which was a raging success.

Such novelty and inventive attitudes of restaurant chains will always attract customers. For instance, Rachel’s brand created an innovative menu based on gravy chocolate to entice audiences that were looking for chic cake options.

Additionally, introduction of cost-effective recipes that use minimal inventory to make delightful products to retain customer’s curiosity can aid in minimization of expenditure. This also creates more space to experiment and launch seasonal menus. Re-engineering the menu to provide more comfort food (made from available raw materials) can aid in better sales, especially for fine dine restaurants. With supply chains disrupted, there is a dearth for imported goods. In addition, customers are also opting for easy-to-prepare options such as burgers instead of heavy meals.

Adopt Changes to Retain Customer-base

Diners must trust and connect with your brand if you wish to retain their loyalty. Their feedback and your responses are integral to such retention and ensuring restaurant sales.

Further, dining out in local restaurants will be a priority, from a diner’s perspective, post COVID-19 lockdown. Customizing your restaurant in accordance with your brand will ensure brand loyalty. 

Aside from this, employees must be empowered and trusted by managers and owners. Restaurant staff should be able to take daily managerial decisions without prior approvals. Creating consumer/employee awareness can also facilitate retention of brand value in these market conditions. Such awareness can be created through different marketing strategies such as informative videos on cooking and packaging processes, videos conveying hygiene measures taken by restaurants, efforts of delivery executives to ensure uncontaminated food delivery (by proper hand sanitization, double bagging each food order, etc.).

A brand must utilize its diner-base for survival as a whole business family. As Rachel assertively mentions, ‘If you have that brand equity and a loyal customer-base, make the most of it right now!’

Dineout’s LIVE Webinar | Steps Taken to Revive the Restaurant Industry

Dineout’s LIVE Webinar | Steps Taken to Revive the Restaurant Industry

In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, worldwide lockdown has adversely affected restaurant industry stakeholders: restaurateurs, suppliers, vendors and other relevant employees. On Dineout’s latest Facebook Live, panelists Mr. Ashwin Bhadri [CEO, Equinox labs | National Resource (FSSAI)], Mr. Prashant Khurdiya (Business Head, METRO Cash & Carry), Mr. Sharad Sachdeva [Director of Operations, L Catterton Asia (LVMH Group)], Ms. Pushpa Bector (Executive Director, Shopping Malls, DLF) and Mr. Ashish Dev Kapur (Founder & Director, Moods Hospitality Pvt. Ltd.) participated in an in-depth discussion with Mr. Vivek Kapoor, (Co-founder, Dineout) on the crucial measures that need to be taken to revive restaurant businesses. 

Here are the key takeaways from the session on how to revive the restaurant industry post Covid-19.

Government Measures

The Government needs to urgently assess the economic repercussions on the restaurant industry. Statutory payments such GST, advance tax, duties and VAT at state levels should be deferred. Government can give moratorium on bank loan payments so cash flow can be used to pay off the suppliers and workforce. Restaurant delegations will soon receive COVID 19 online training by FSSAI. Plus, multiple license applications will go online. This will help make the system more seamless

Diner Trust Retention

Utmost hygiene will be the primary differentiating factor for diners determining the reliability of restaurants post lockdown. Ashish, Founder & Director, Moods Hospitality Pvt. Ltd,  notes a seismic shift towards staff and restaurant hygiene. Contactless dining has created a lot of buzz and  (e.g. contactless/digital menus and payments) must be adopted at multiple touch points. All stakeholders must ensure compliance with social distancing norms. Diners must be assured that in-house employees and staff are germ free and the daily produce is safe as they are rethinking their dine-out preferences. 

Staff Guidelines

Staff members should be retrained with updated sanitisation modules and bright up to speed with new norms. Government officials will be conducting regular hygiene training and motivational programs for staff on official platforms. Many restaurants have already proactively done the same. There is no doubt that customer service and hospitality will reach newer heights.  Employees and staff must ensure that diners maintain hygiene regulations. Additionally, efficient restaurant management tie-ups with aggregators to serve last mile diners will be essential.

Digital Outreach

Contactless feedback via digital feedback forms or social media will gain transaction and facilitate retention of customer loyalty. There is an urgent necessity to maximize app-based communication and utilize the boom of takeaways Social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter are witnessing high engagement from diners. It is essential to tap into this and listen to the diners closely. Restaurants can use these platforms to directly connect with the diners and understand their sentiments and needs.

In-restaurant Guidelines

The introduction of Aarogya Setu app will help in tracking whether visiting diners are healthy. Seating arrangement and people within a certain square feet area will be limited. Individual and community responsibility, wherein diners should pre-plan and make prior reservations before visits, so that restaurants can control and prevent overcrowding. (1 person for every 70 square meters).Technology will reduce hygiene and safety problems while personalizing customer engagement.

Collaborative Effort By Multiple Stakeholders

Super sanitized service is imperative. Stakeholders like malls and restaurants must work together to comply with social distancing, safety, and hygiene-related instructions. Restaurants should regularly train their employees on hygiene modules.

Novel Business Prospects

New business models like takeaways and delivery will grow. Restaurant menus will become smaller, localized (in terms of locally available ingredients), and cost-efficient. Working with available “glocal” produce is the need of the hour. To garner diners’ attention and delight, the “playbook” must change: make social distancing more romantic and endearing. In the revival phase, having strong long-term business vision is imperative. Restaurants must resurrect with celebrations to rekindle diners’ attention. Salience of big brands will aid sustainability.

Restaurant Industry 2.0

Future mergers and acquisitions are expected, as many portfolio companies are facing closure. Mall/restaurant operation times will be limited. Newer dynamics and opportunities will be assessed. The main goal? Standing by the hospitality industry. Retaining and utilizing social capital, showing empathy, and understanding and leveraging social media is vital.

In conclusion, despite heavy losses, Diners won’t be looking for discounts. Instead, ensuring hygiene and increasing customer interest will be essential in restarting the restaurant industry.

The Future of the F&B industry: Contactless Dining

The Future of the F&B industry: Contactless Dining

Dineout was born with the mission to help foodies discover and visit restaurants across the country. As India’s largest dining out and restaurant tech platform we have always believed in a restaurant first approach. Supporting the hospitality business with cutting edge technology has been our forte. Dineout has inevitably been ahead of the times with innovation for the restaurant business. Our restaurant tech products are the epitome of what is now known as Contactless Dining, COVID has just catapulted the adoption. We don’t wait for a crisis, we build before it hits us. 

Contactless Dining removes nonessential human interaction and replaces it with seamless technology. The post COVID world will be a changed one because diners will be skeptical about stepping out and wary about touching unsanitized surfaces. They will also avoid touching things like currency notes, which goes through multiple hand exchanges. To counter that, restaurants will need to build trust and habits that reassures anxious diners. 

There are a multitude of touchpoints with a diner that a restaurant can modify and facilitate with the introduction of technology. These can be simple actions like booking a table, pre-ordering meals, takeaway, digital ordering, digital payment, etc. Priority for diners will shift and restaurants need to plan accordingly. The climb ahead will be steep, but if the industry is armed with technology there will be no mountain it can’t scale. 

The diner is looking to step into a safe restaurant where he can grab a quick sumptuous meal without worrying about touching a physical menu, a card machine, etc. and Dineout has all the products that fit into such a diner journey.

Enable Safe to Eat Out: Contactless Dining

Imagine a world where diners can look up a restaurant online, check its ratings, and pre-order the meal before even leaving their house. They reach the restaurant to find no queue and conveniently get their car parked through contactless valet. By the time they are seated, their meal is ready to be served. If they feel like adding another item or ordering dessert, they can use a digital menu from their smartphones by simply scanning a QR code, to place the order. After the sumptuous meal, they pay via digital wallet and leave with the comfort and safety provided by the restaurant. This will create a lasting impression and assure them safety and hygiene like never before.

  • Discovery – Restaurants can build more confidence and have transparency with their diners by posting videos of hygiene steps and cleanliness steps they have taken. Right from when a restaurant procures raw material is when they can put up videos and photos on Dineout Stories to assure diners how hygiene is the utmost priority.
  • Pre-ordering – To cut the wait times at the restaurants, diners will now opt for Dineout’s pre-ordering widget to ensure that the food is ready by the time they reach.
  • Contactless Valet – To cut the wait time and avoid crowds, diners will have their cars to be brought in just as they complete payments. inresto valet will cut short the time spent at community areas to curb the spread of infections.
  • Contactless Seating– To make reservations online and facilitate digital table allotment. inresto’s Guest & Reserve software will ensure that restaurants aren’t reserving more than what the social distancing norms will dictate. For example: Having a 2m distance between tables.
  •  Contactless Menu Dineout’s ‘Dine-In’ digital menu solution will use Data Analytics and AI to offer dynamic pricing and customised offers at partner restaurants besides offering diners the options to place an order without handling physical menu cards.
  • Contactless payments – To ease the payment process for both the consumer and the restaurant. Digital payments via Dineout Pay will avoid the exchange of cash and cards, thereby forcing social distancing.
  • Contactless Feedback – inresto feedback system will collect real-time feedback on the dining experience.

An extra layer of protection & assurance: Restaurant Safety Kit

That’s not the end of it. There is just so much to prepare for in the post COVID era, and one mistake can toss all our efforts in the air. So going one step further, Dineout has also prepared a safety kit that all restaurants will need in place. This kit includes items like sanitisers, thermometers, visor, gloves, face masks and headgears. It is a one-stop solution to any restaurant looking to confidently open its doors, welcoming diners post the lockdown.

Once the lockdown is lifted, we will not be going back to ‘business as usual’. The quality of food, service and hygiene will be paramount. Use of Technology to ensure cleanliness, social distancing and as a tool to save costs for the restaurants will be paramount. At Dineout, we have been developing Contactless Dining technology over the last 5 years having anticipated the need for both technology and services to co-exist with a B2C marketplace for restaurants. We have been working with partner restaurants who are already using Contactless Dining technology to their advantage. And the results have been phenomenal. Now it is the turn of the rest of the industry to adopt, adapt and survive. Technology which was once considered ‘ good to have’ has now become a ‘must-have’. 

This shift is necessary for restaurants to adopt the ‘new normal’ to get their diners knocking on their doors. It won’t be possible without the right data insights and tech. So, our tool for survival is going to be technology. It will pave our path to success and victory, and Dineout intends to be the guiding light.

What we need to remind ourselves is that good food and a good time will never be out of vogue. So the question isn’t if we will, it is how we will overcome this storm. And the answer is technology.

Dineout’s INSTA LIVE with Srijan Vadhera | Future of Luxury Dining Post the Lockdown 

Due to the lockdown, the F&B industry has come to a standstill. Meanwhile, restaurateurs have been bombarded with statistics and future projections of the restaurant market. To shed light on this subject and breakdown strategies for Dineout has launched Instagram Live Hours, hosted by Sahil Jain, Co-founder of Dineout.

We bring you our in-depth conversation with Mr Srijan Vadhera, General Manager – Conrad Bengaluru. 

The session started with what a luxury dining restaurateur should plan and how well he/she can prepare for the ‘new normal’. Adaptability of technology will be non-negotiable. While the restaurant industry looks forward to financial assistance from the Government, it is equally crucial for them to look within and prepare to adopt robust solutions.

The luxury dining segment pertains to an extraordinary part of diners’ luxury experience. These are places for celebrations and special occasions. While special events will not cease to exist, the need to open a bottle of champagne and enjoy a gourmet meal might receive second thoughts. So, how does a luxury dining restaurant prepare for the future and reassure its diners? 

 

1. Home Delivery & Take Away to the rescue

Luxury dining industry is more to do with the experience than just an expensive purchase. This has been one of the most dynamic and fast-growing components of the luxury sector. Diners opted more for exclusive experiences and the “Instagrammable moments”. While we expect the positive momentum of experiential luxury to persist, it will slow down in the short term as consumers temporarily revert to buying goods over experiences. 

Many luxury dining restaurants like Conrad Bengaluru have begun with a revamped home delivery and take-away business model. One of the most important aspects of luxury dining has been attention to detail and utmost hygiene. Standard delivery protocols need to be set in place and adhered to. 

The process of taking food orders, preparing the items, packaging and finally delivering needs to be seamless. At no point can the quality of food and service suffer because that is the USP of any luxury dining restaurant.

2. Introduce revamped and limited menu

Treat every crisis as an opportunity. Luxury dining was always about the experience at a particular restaurant and ambience. But how can a similar experience be hand-delivered to a diner? Luxury dining never got the opportunity to ponder on it, until now. It is important to be conscious of the fact that the same menu won’t work. A re-engineered menu is the need of the hour. This should include dishes that can be prepared with the limited raw materials available in the market. Wastage should be negligible and remaining parts of any raw materials should be repurposed in another food item. Packaging also plays an important role, as the food items need to be intact and travel friendly.

To be able to deliver efficiently, it is important to select areas and work with local authorities for smooth operations. Encourage pre-ordering, digital payment and limit the number of orders per day to reduce unnecessary wastage. Standalone restaurants should focus on a simple menu; the one, a guest, can understand easily and minimize waste.

3. Hygiene is numero uno

Physical distancing and hygiene need to become our way of life. Luxury dining restaurants and hotels are generally ISO certified. Right now, it is crucial to extend these steps to guest entry and raw materials unloading points as well. Sanitization stations and fixed delivery schedules should be in place for all external agents. Raw material should be cleaned and washed before stocking them. Staff members should be educated about the new safety measures in place. Physical distancing, masks, gloves and sanitization for staff should be made mandatory. It is important to also educate the diners about the same.

4. Technology will be the game-changer

Technology for such an operating model always existed. But previously, many brands didn’t feel the need to adopt these. But now it is vital for their survival. There are many touchpoints in a restaurant business where technology can prove beneficial. Diners should be encouraged to pre-order and reserve their table at such restaurants. They should be encouraged to use digital payment methods. DineIn by Dineout, will let diners place orders directly from their phones using a QR code.. Similarly, digital payments like DOPay will remove the need for diners to exchange physical currency. Table management will be crucial to maintain physical distancing. Dineout’s Reserve will simplify and automate this process with least human intervention. For such solutions and more, click here

5. Educate and retrain staff members

Staff members form the backbone of any business in the servicing industry. Retaining them with the updated model of operations will help run the business smoothly. Use this time to plan and get your staff members up to speed with mandatory hygiene protocols to be followed. There are multiple touchpoints where the staff gets in close contact with diners. It is essential to recognize these and train accordingly. Staff should be trained with physical distancing protocols to be followed at all times, including security check as well as room service. 

 

How a staff adopts safety measures in their own space reflects on what measures they will take while servicing the diners. This needs to be ingrained in the DNA of servicing.

Luxury dining restaurants can look at international markets for guidance and mould their techniques. It is a crucial time to create brand awareness. Some initiatives include limited seating with a maximum number of 2-3 diners on a table. Restaurants with buffet should consider switching to A la carte, as that will be profitable. Table reservation should be mandatory. It will prove beneficial to use local produce and design a new menu. Lower profit margins will need to be set, and operational costs should be optimized.

The restaurant industry has started to recognize the true potential of technology and its adoption. It will help to uphold and continue to deliver the brand promise of a luxury dining restaurant. It is equally important to share this message with the diners, via social media, direct messaging, live video etc,.This will help reassure diners and build trust. Social media can come handy in amplifying this message. Dineout’s prepaid restaurant vouchers have re-instilled confidence in the restaurant industry. Apart from this Dineout has been pioneering in the technology domain for the restaurant industry. To find out more, click here

 

Dineout’s INSTA LIVE with Anurag Katriar | POST COVID ERA | New Business Models will Not Hold Relevance with Old School Assumptions

The world is on PAUSE. With 70% of the world in lockdown, the human race is experiencing a grim reality. The restaurant industry is facing one of the biggest crisis ever. We are at a turning point, and everything we plan and act on right now sets in motion the future of the entire restaurant industry. To shed a brighter light on this subject, Dineout has launched Instagram Live Hours. It’s an exclusive opportunity for restaurateurs to get the latest insights from industry stalwarts, hosted by Sahil Jain, Co-founder of Dineout. 

We bring you our in-depth conversation with Mr Anurag Katriar, NRAI President; Executive Director & CEO, deGustibus Hospitality.

The session started with what a restaurateur should do while their business is shut and how well he/she can prepare for the ‘new normal’. Adaptability will be non-negotiable. The Government plans to pay close attention to our needs, but it is equally crucial for us to look within for innovative solutions. The environment in which the restaurant business operated in the past will dramatically change. Hygiene will be the ‘IT’ thing, and sanitisers will be as essential as cutleries at a restaurant; one can’t run without them.

 

So, how does a restaurant plan? 

We need to go back to the blackboard and start from scratch. 

Let’s look at the way forward for our industry below-

1.Scrutinise Capital Management

All that jazz that a restaurant invested in before, like the EXTRA decorative items, need to be shunned. If your expenses are not about getting your diners through your restaurant doors and serving good food, then it goes straight to the trash. Being frugal is what will get a restaurant through this tough period.

2. Adopt a New Business Model

If you believed in  ‘I know what I am doing’, think again. Asset Light & Low Risk should be your new mantra. This confers to a business model that offers great flexibility at a low capital risk. Reduction in capital and expenditure due to lack of funds is inevitable. While the world economy is headed towards a recession, calculated risks will be a restaurateur’s best alternative.

3. Enable your future with Technology

Technology will play a fundamental role in facilitating smooth business operations by removing most service-related challenges. Relook your operations from a diner’s point of view. Remove hurdles like unnecessary diner interaction with staff members, automate your process to create a haven for your diners and staff. Table management will be crucial as diners would not entertain the idea of waiting in long queues. Dineout’s Reserve simplifies and automates this process with least human intervention.

4. Switch Your Narrative

It is time to reimagine your business model and your priorities. Quality and safety will overpower the concept of deep-discounting and cheap deals. If a restaurant continues with the older narrative of ‘business as usual’, it will only be counterproductive. Self-regulation will be the best policy as there will be no margin for errors here.

5. Listen to Your Diners

Restaurants should accept that their relationship with diners will be key to their survival and growth. Your diners’ needs have changed. Their thoughts of visiting a restaurant for great food is coupled with worry about their safety. Your diners will need to be treated as your family, served only the best food and in the best possible way. Transparency will be paramount.

6. Manage Your Stakeholders

A business is operated with the help of multiple stakeholders. And it is essential that each of these stakeholders, like the landlord, vendors, aggregators, staff, etc.. come together and devise a plan that is beneficial for all parties. The terms of engagement need to be in favour of all. The situation at present hasn’t singled out any one sector. A plan that covers all is the need of the hour. One such example could be a revenue-sharing model with a restaurants’ landlord instead of paying fixed rental.

The journey seems uphill, but we have to make the climb to come on top. It won’t be possible without the contribution of the entire restaurant fraternity. We need to come up with extraordinary ideas and business plans for our future. Only together can we march towards the new dawn.

We have many more interactive sessions planned for our restaurant business community. Watch out for the next one on our official Instagram channel: inresto_by_dineout

The world is Gotham city and Dineout is Batman

Dineout, India’s largest dining out and restaurant tech platform has always believed in a restaurant first approach. Supporting the restaurant business with cutting edge technology has always been our forte. But when life throws a curveball, like that of COVID-19, what do we do? Do we dodge? Or do we swing our bat and hit it out of the stadium? We believe in the latter, and we swing it real hard.

All of us have been bombarded with news about COVID-19 and its implications on our society. And the restaurant industry has been the first to bear the brunt. The news about our restaurant industry expecting a loss between 70,000 – 80,000 crore is disheartening. And this pulls the heartstrings of about 7.3 million people who invest their blood and sweat in it every day. So what do we do? The restaurant industry, being the thought leader that they are, has taken a brave step towards safeguarding their diners. They have either temporarily stopped services, or have adopted contact-less delivery. The precautionary measures at such delivery restaurants are at par with medical facilities. 

So we have decided to take matters into our own hands. Using Dineout platform, we have set up a rescue plan, Operation: Restaurant Vouchers

Here is how ‘Restaurant Vouchers’ works-

  1. Using our ‘Restaurant Vouchers’ platform, we empower your loyal diners to buy vouchers of either 500 INR or 1000 INR. These vouchers have a validity period of 3-6 months. So as soon as things calm down and they can all step out, they will walk straight through your open doors.
  2. We encourage our restaurant partners to give us an inventory of either 50 vouchers, each worth 1000 INR or 100 vouchers, each worth 500 INR. How does this help the restaurant? People buy vouchers that they will use in the future, which guarantees immediate cash flow.
  3. How does the diner benefit? The diner buys these vouchers at a discounted price. This discount is up to 30%, at the restaurants’ discretion.
  4. These vouchers will apply on the total bill, which is inclusive of taxes.
  5. What does Dineout get out of this? Your love.

Your diners are in knee-deep withdrawal symptoms from not getting all the love that you serve along with your food. So, this is our little way of playing batman, the hero in a cape. We’re committed to do our part and continue to introduce new tools in the coming days to help facilitate support for the restaurant business community.

We hope our effort helps ‘flatten the curve’ of lost income for restaurants and secures the business and its staff’s needs. You are lucky to have such lovely and loyal diners who can’t stop thinking of those crispy, fiery peri-peri fries that you serve!

 

As you read this, we already are assisting about 1000 restaurants with ‘Restaurant Vouchers’. If you want to know more about this, write to us at info@dineout.co.in. Or call up your salesperson. We are all working from home, but we can’t stop thinking about you. Let us help you rewrite history.

 

Measures a restaurant needs to take to be safe from Covid- 19

Covid-19, commonly known as Coronavirus, has been declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization. This has resulted in a panic amongst people. In India, Covid-19 cases rise to 147, and the numbers are growing steadily.

Under such circumstances, it is essential to maintain the utmost hygiene to keep both your staff and diners safe. The lack of confidence to step out in public spaces is making people wary about going to malls and restaurants in particular. People have started avoiding non-vegetarian food. Among various covid-19 trending hashtags, #NoMeat_NoCoronaVirus has been an ongoing one. 

The food and beverage industry has seen decreased footfall due to this. Although, with the right safety measures being taken, restaurants are performing their role by taking extra care of the hygiene. It’s not only a matter of your customer’s safety but also the matter of your own safety. With food delivery platforms like zomato and swiggy opting for services like – leave the food at the door service, where the valet leaves the food at the doorstep, and the customer can pick it up later, many restaurants are also following conduct because health comes first. All of us together need to save the world from this pandemic. 

Here are the preventive measures you can incorporate in your restaurant to protect your staff and your guests:

Masks and surgical gloves for staff

 

The staff should be instructed to work with the mask and gloves on only. It should be mandatory for the chefs and servers who are handling the food items.

Staff Survey Activity 

  • The staff must be surveyed. It must be made sure that their family or friends do not have this virus or have been suspected of it. 
  • Proper check must happen on whether staff members have travelled abroad recently, especially to China or Italy
  • On-ground check-ups must be conducted. A person must be assigned to check the temperature of the staff as they enter the restaurant every day

If any of the above is true for any staff member, then they should immediately be sent to the hospital for a check-up.

Keep your outlet extra clean

Sanitize your restaurant every day

  • The furniture, the floors and the kitchen space should be sanitized every day before closing. Extra care of hygiene at all times must be ensured. The frequency of cleaning has to be increased. 
  • Sanitizers at every table must be kept for your guests. There must be a designated hygienic space where your staff and guests can wash their hands. 

 

Inform your customers of the safety measures

The diners must be aware that you are serious about their safety and that you have taken the necessary preventive measures. Send them personalised SMS or emails that convey the message. 

Providing healthy and clean meals to your guests must be the priority right now, and taking care of the fact that the work environment is safe for your staff is also very important. It would be best if you told your staff and diners that your restaurant is taking all the necessary measures.

The good part is that if the right measures are taken at the right time, we can prevent the virus from spreading further. Incorporate these things at your restaurant and make it a safe space for your colleagues and guests.

Now that you have read this blog. Don’t forget to wash your hands. 😉

Stay Safe 🙂