Tips for Restaurants to Fight Covid-19

Tips for Restaurants to Fight COVID19

With the fear of the COVID-19 pandemic still looming large, the heavily impacted restaurant industry continues to look for innovative means to fight COVID 19. Organizations like the WHO and various government health departments continue to share tips for public places/businesses to fight COVID 19.

Some COVID 19 regulations for restaurants that must be followed to keep the virus at bay are listed below.

1. Caring for the staff members

Taking care of the restaurant staff is the foremost tip for restaurants to fight COVID 19. Training them with the safety guidelines like refraining from touching their eyes, nose, and mouth, making sanitizer accessible, and ensuring the 20-second hand washing after touching any new surface must be done. If any employee shows any symptoms of sickness, they must be asked to stay at home and follow the prescribed safety guidelines.

2. Proper Utilisation of Resources

Another noteworthy tip for restaurants to fight COVID 19 is to make optimum utilization of existing resources. With business being slow, it is advisable to use resources in an advantageous way. Restaurant owners can invest their resources in SEO tools to highlight the visibility of their restaurant for online orders, look to expand their delivery channels, and start new ones if the restaurant was not offering delivery service already. Further, servers with personal vehicles can also work as restaurant delivery agents. 

3. Convert Obstacles Into Opportunities and Minimise Cost

Follow smart management practices by encashing on delivery services and revamping the restaurant menu to include dishes that have higher margins and lower costs. Include special offers to deliver meals for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Restaurants can even look at options to collaborate with contractual channels for delivery service while ensuring all hygiene parameters are met when delivering food.

4. Keeping the Guests Updated

Keeping in line with the COVID 19 government restrictions, restaurants must ensure to share all relevant information, safety protocol, and any changes in the modus operandi of the restaurant operations with the customers. They must use their website, email, message, and social media platform to assure customers of the safety and hygiene precautions followed at the restaurant. Efforts must be made to keep all such communications positive and timely. 

5. Sanitizing Business Premises

Keeping the restaurant clean and disinfected must be diligently followed. Frequent and regular cleaning of surfaces that are touched regularly, such as door handles, electrical switches, table tops, chair seats, and floor must be practiced. 

6. Stay Informed

Restaurateurs must, at all times, keep themselves updated and informed about the modifications, amendments, additions, or relaxations done by the Government in the COVID 19 regulations. Staying informed will give them adequate time to plan and strategize for the times ahead and keep their business soaring.

7. Adopt Cutting Edge Technology for Restaurant Management

Restaurateurs must figure out processes that can be managed with the help of machines or using restaurant technologies. Restaurants must also go contactless on services such as booking, preordering, digital menu, digital payment etc.. This will helps secure the health and safety of both diners as well as staff members.

We hope these tips will aid you and your restaurant to strengthen your fight against COVID19. 

Making an Effective Offline to Online Transition for your Restaurant Business

Making an Effective Offline to Online Transition for your Restaurant Business

With the emergence of digital media platforms and numerous online food delivery applications, customers are presented with a convenient option of ordering food online. Taking the current situation in consideration, even if people wanted to go out and dine, they are bound to their homes and are sticking to ordering food and taking measures to remain safe.

Furthermore, the digital ordering culture is being deeply instilled due to the novel coronavirus outbreak. In times such as these, traditional restaurant owners are faced with a huge challenge on how to stay relevant and conduct business successfully. Below mentioned are a few tips on how to transition from offline to a successful online restaurant business. 

Learn About Online Delivery

It is imperative that restaurant businesses which haven’t facilitated home delivery must gain knowledge on how online delivery works. With the help of peers and market leaders in the industry, one must understand how it works and how it can be used to reap benefits. This knowledge can further aid you to be informed about those unsaid rules followed in the online delivery business, when delivery partners for collaboration or when starting your own online delivery platforms like a website or an application.

Build a Brand that Bears Weight

Building a brand for your restaurant and gaining an online presence can aid your target audience to recognize you and maintain loyalties with your restaurant. As most traditional businesses run on the signature taste of their dishes, diners wouldn’t think twice before ordering from your restaurant. Hence, aligning business strategies to evolve and retain market share would prove as a great step.

Many traditional businesses run on signature dishes or a signature taste that diners have loved for decades. However, to build loyalties online, restaurateurs must consider branding their restaurant and aligning their social media strategies with the same.

Know your Options

When expanding your restaurant business online, you basically have two options: to collaborate with a food delivery platform or start your own website that enables your restaurant to take orders directly.  Owning a restaurant website translates into gathering much-needed diner information that comes to use when chalking new strategies and map diner behaviour.

Focus on Delivery and Fulfillment

In case you decide to start your own food delivery platform, you must keep various important aspects in primary focus. Shipping, logistics, fulfilment of orders, usage of oven-safe packaging, and ensuring no-contact delivery are some of the key processes that one must take care of.

Accessibility and Convenience of Customers

Whether you devise your own food delivery platform or choose to collaborate with a food delivery service platform that already exists, taking accessibility and convenience of your customers is vital. If your restaurant is not accessible for your customer, from their area, it might hamper your brand value negatively. On the other hand, making sure that the customer’s convenience is taken care of, enables better brand loyalty and enables seamless transition from an offline to an online restaurant business.

These above tips are in no way exhaustive in nature when it comes to making an impactful transition to an online restaurant business. 

Another bonus tip would be to make sure that you follow through with all the covid-19 related regulations put forth by the government, especially during the transition phase. Doing so will ensure highest levels of brand loyalty and preferability on the customer’s end.

How Instagram Can Bolster Your Restaurant Business

How Instagram can Bolster your Restaurant Business

Social media marketing has taken over all the conventional ways that brands used to advertise their services decades ago. Instagram has seen a revolutionary surge in the last few years and we’re definitely not surprised. Young adults are absolutely in love with the app and for good reason; it’s the perfect place to put your best side forward. And the good news is, individuals aren’t the only ones who can do so.

Brands have showcased their services and reached out to their audience in the most creative ways. And if you are planning to use Instagram to bolster restaurant business, you have certainly hit the jackpot considering the nature of the platform.

Let’s talk numbers 

86% of the top brands have a consistent presence on Instagram. Cap that with a billion active Instagram users on a monthly basis, and you know just where to be to reach out to your audience.

Why use Instagram for your restaurant?

There is no dearth of reasons as to why one can use Instagram to bolster restaurant business. But the ones below are certainly crucial.

1. To build a brand and reputation

For any brand to be successful, there needs to be an awareness about the brand that emphasizes how and why it is different from the rest. Further, maintaining a good rapport with your customers and connecting over topical things also aids in better flourishment of such brand image.

2. To build a loyal customer base

Making a mark is not only reaching out to your audience but also making sure that they are here to stay. By interacting with your audience regularly you can be sure of building a loyal customer base in time.

3. To introduce your business to new customers

Instagram is a platform that can be used to target and reach new potential customers as it provides a direct way of staying in touch with them; through their phones. Posting multiple times a day can enable the customers to come across and engage with your brand throughout the day. 

How to use Instagram for your Restaurant?

Now that you know the whys, here are the hows!

1. Optimize Profile

Every business account on Instagram needs a compelling introduction. With that, you must place a trackable link on the account to keep a track on the website visits through the app. This helps you to best analyze account activity and successfully use Instagram to bolster your restaurant business.

2. Use professional photography

If there is anything we learnt from Instagram since the time it was launched, it is that Instagram is the perfect virtual picture book. Visually appealing and aesthetic shots are exactly what Instagrammers love about the App.

3. Interact with customers

Interacting and engaging with your audience online can help them build loyalty and provide a personalized experience. Tracking good and bad reviews give better insights into revision of business processes. Reposting such good reviews can fuel brand image and add a human element to your profile.

4. Post steps taken by your restaurant during Covid-19

     Whether or not you already have an Instagram presence, this is the perfect opportunity to use this platform and communicate with your audience regarding the rules and regulations put in place to fight the Covid-19 pandemic. This also builds trust and loyalty in new as well as existing customers. 

We’re hoping that these pointers will give you the additional push and clarity needed to bolster your restaurant business on Instagram

Dineout’s Instagram Live With Gauri Devidayal: Celebrating The Mother Restaurateurs |The Double CEOs

Dineout’s Instagram Live With Gauri Devidayal: Celebrating The Mother Restaurateurs |The Double CEOs

This Mother’s Day, Dineout conducted a ‘MOMs for CEO’ campaign to celebrate mothers’ journeys of motherhood and work and their contributions to all our lives. 

Gauri Devdayal spoke to Dineout’s Sanjula Miglani about her journey as a mother and a restaurateur, future plans, and strategies post lockdown. In addition to being a mother to a doting daughter, Gauri is one of the 50 most influential young Indians according to GQ, partner at Food Matters India, and the face behind many of India’s most celebrated restaurants – an inspiration to all working women! 

Here are the excerpts from their Insta Live.

Motherhood And Work: Finding The Perfect Balance

Being your own boss allows more flexibility but makes one deeply invested “24×7” in business; perhaps a double-edged sword. Gauri’s company allows her ample space to devote enough time to family matters. Every mother will find work-life balance on her own terms, which is easier said than done. A “pivotal” moment is when you realise and accept the best that you can do and what you can’t, thereby striving towards your own work-life goals. 

The World Is Not Enough

After her astonishing academic, business, and corporate achievements, she devoted herself full-time to her restaurant project and has achieved immense success over ten years. Her background in law and finance aided her in partnering up with her entrepreneurial husband. From an employee, she donned the restaurant entrepreneur’s garb; every step has been a learning curve.

Introducing The Concept Of Casual And Chic Restaurant

Gauri’s restaurant The Table offers small and large shared plates and community dining tables to encourage and interact with each other. Inspired by Californian dining, ingredient-driven menu and community-style dining; this idea was inspired by dining experience from all around the world and which then gained popularity in Mumbai.

Dining Plans Post Lockdown 

  • Restriction on capacity allows the spacing out of tables
  • Increased use of technology; QSRs will be heavily tech-reliant; restaurants driven by human dining experience will be more tech-reliant but cannot be entirely replaced by technology
  • Key for restaurant hospitality is transparency, honesty, sincerity, and integrity; steps towards customer reassurance about sanitation and hygiene steps will be crucial
  • Flexibility in order placement: via apps or social media platforms will be the next step
  • Along with staff training on sanitation and hygiene, mental well-being, and financial stability of staff are essential. Organising interactive sessions with experts to address and alleviate anxiety and sensitise people to the “new normal.”

Measures For Safe Delivery

Inspired by the magazine street kitchen, the delivery team has moved to the kitchen. The dining room has been converted into living space for the entire restaurant team, to reassure people that staff remain in-house and feel less alienated. Hence, minimised the risk of external contamination. Usage of masks, gloves, and regular temperature checks is mandatory. Delivery partners have been advised to maintain appropriate distance by marking standing space. An extra layer of protection is ensured by double packaging, contactless handover of products picked from trays by riders, riders leaving packages with apartment guards to be picked up by the diners.

We Miss You | A Letter to all the Restaurants

We Miss You | A Letter to all the Restaurants

While the world is dealing with the COVID pandemic, many businesses like restaurants have shut their services as a safety measure.

And as we sit inside our homes binge-watching movies, all we can think of is the delicious food from our favourite restaurants; we will be having once the lockdown is lifted. Our ears long for the sizzling of pan-fried noodles, whirring of milkshakes with ice creams churning, conversations over coffee and kids haggling with their mothers for one more scoop at the ice-cream parlours.

The world will get it’s pizza, burgers & momos back. There will be date nights at bars again, Salsa Sundays at Summer House, live music at Music & Mountains, and people will grab their fav McDonalds meal while going back home from a tiring day. That would be a day to rejoice for the entire restaurant industry. Restaurants will witness happy faces dining out, moments brewing & beginning of love stories over coffee. 

Good food and good dining experiences are addictive, and you would know why we say that. 

Even during this quarantine, people are learning new recipes in the memory of their favourite dishes. They are trying to recreate the magic served by their favourite restaurants. 

Restaurants surely are facing the biggest crisis, with revenue curves declining.

These are grim times for many such industries. But don’t lose heart as the world is dearly missing you. While pondering upon the state of affairs, we asked the diners to share the names of the restaurants they are missing the most. And we just wanted to stop by and send this letter of love, warmth and hope to all the restaurants. 

Sit back and have a look-

and there is more.

Revival Steps of Restaurant Industries in the Middle East

Revival Steps of Restaurant Industries in the Middle East

How are the restaurateurs in UAE, Saudi Arabia and other Middle Eastern countries resurrecting their business in the aftermath of the coronavirus lockdown? The countries which have set to open their market shed light on how Indian restaurants could act post-lockdown. Industry stalwarts from the international market—Avinash Ratta (CEO| Managing Director, Grain Velocity), Sajan Alex (Manager | Tablez Food Company), Kamran Khan (Managing Director | AIM Restaurant Consultancy & Marketing)— shared their thoughts on Dineout’s latest Facebook Live hosted by Vivek Kapoor, (Co-founder | Dineout). 

New Business Models

In an unprecedented lockdown situation where everyone is struggling to survive, restaurateurs can – 

Realign strategies and business models according to post-lockdown business prospects: Include social distancing, sanitising, creating hygiene-oriented supply chain into novel models. These will garner consumer confidence by ensuring hygiene-specific concerns are addressed at the right time. Clean the slate: Build new prototypes, models, and supply chains, emphasise cleaning material as both operational and marketing tool, rework PNLs and costs. Comparative cuisines, virtual brands collaborating with online aggregators, using chatbots for customer interaction, building cloud-kitchens with aggregators, customer loyalty apps. Shifting priorities and pecking orders: Short-run fixed costs cannot change with a drop in business; reducing customer pessimism is the new priority. 

Contactless Dining

Many restaurateurs are looking at contactless dining to remove nonessential human interaction and continue to safeguard both diners and staff interest. Diners are skeptical about stepping out and wary about touching un-sanitised surfaces. They want to avoid touching things like currency notes, which goes through multiple hand exchanges. To counter that, restaurants need to build trust and habits that reassures anxious diners. 

There are a multitude of touchpoints with a diner that restaurateurs are looking to 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 are planning accordingly. 

New Government Regulations (UAE)

Continuous sanitisation, testing each member of staff, consistently cleaning of premises is mandatory. 

Restaurants must register in the food watch portal and ensure compliance Utilise restaurant dining space with a maximum 30% for seating guests capacity. Impose restrictions discouraging children less than 12 and old people from dining. Use disposable cutleries and crockery for diners, and masks and gloves for staff. Ensure that the produce arrives through legitimate and trustworthy channels (countries of origin must be known). Provide leadership-level training, with trained person-in-charge (PIC) on every restaurant shift certified to maintain food hygiene. Ensure minimal risks for diners and open restaurants in a phased manner. As one cannot control customer confidence due to the asymptomatic nature of coronavirus.

Religious Tourism

This has come to a sudden halt and adversely affected tourism-related businesses. 

Coronavirus has upended the core of the hospitality industry. Reviving the aspect of personal touch in such an environment has become a task. Curfew has been lifted now, but only for takeaway or home delivery will be operational in the first phase. This has led to small-time restaurants struggling to make ends meet, while big ones show decreased revenues. 

Mergers and Acquisitions (M&A)

Business models (fine/casual/quick-dining services) must be analysed, along with differences in dining traffic. In the QSR industry in UAE, takeaway/online ordering traffic almost matches the casual dining traffic; convenient in a lockdown situation. Now, the takeaway concept must be made more viable to increase diner traffic. Businesses belonging to families, e.g. Americana group etc. concept clusters which can be collated across locations to drive further synergies.  Innovative food & beverages businesses are creating ordering platforms from where consumers can directly order food, eliminating middlemen, as existing models lead to lowered sales, revenue, and capacity. M&A must review concept clusters and formats: Revenue can be managed with cost-effective rentals and mobile sales opportunities.  Attract the swaying public who are torn between delivery and dining: Restaurants can hold evening shows, quizzes on dining brands and experience etc. 

Loyalty Programs 

Businesses cannot survive solely on home delivery models, as the costs would increase beyond rental, food, and dining costs. Plus, food becomes the only selling commodity in online delivery.  Re-engineer and remodel: Smart utilization of dining space, delivery-friendly menus, alternative supply chains due to reduction in international transport/mobility, increased non-cash transactions to revive revenue, and digitization of orders and transactions. 

In conclusion, contactless, hygienic, and safe order delivery is integral to increasing diner loyalty and restart business.

Our Diners and Restaurants are Ready for Contactless Dining

Our Diners and Restaurants are Ready for Contactless Dining

The worldwide pandemic has brought the whole world to a standstill. This has had a widespread effect on individuals as well as businesses. The restaurant industry has been gravely injured due to the lockdown. But that never stopped diners from craving their favourite dishes. The new social commentary in the form of memes paints a significant picture for us.

As human beings and a social community, we have undergone immense change. Usually this change has been gradual and slow paced. But as the world has suddenly halted to take notice, we are bound to change few things to fit into the new narrative. The restaurant industry too is posed with an improved way of operations, and luckily we have been able to unravel the same.

Contactless Dining | The way forward for restaurant industry

The world is gearing up for a ‘new normal’. The restaurant industry is not far behind, either. But what does this new normal entail for us? The answer is in technology. And we have figured out the best way to integrate tech with the existing operating model, without compromising on the human side of the hospitality business.

Contactless Dining comes to the rescue here, enabling restaurants to serve these diners in a safe and secure environment.

How does this work?

It aims at reducing nonessential physical interactions between staff and diners, keeping both the parties involved at a safe distance. It allows ease of business. These can be simple actions like booking a table, pre-ordering meals, takeaway, digital ordering, digital payment, etc. 

  • Contactless dining taking shape and working seamlessly with the existing restaurant operating model.
  • In-restaurant behaviour with respect to order placement, payment mode, and feedback is set to change dramatically. 
  • Restaurants will need to engage and interact with the diners closely and rebuild their trust. 
  • Diners standing outside the restaurant in a queue will be a thing of the past. Soon most visits will be pre-planned and booked in advance.
  • Hygiene and safety precautions will add to the deciding factor list of diners.

Read a more detailed White Paper with revamped guidelines, best practices and how exactly contactless dining is paving the way for the restaurant industry.

What’s on the Diners Mind?

We have been in constant touch with our diners, interacting and engaging with them. So, we took this opportunity to understand them better. We launched a survey to get a pulse of diner sentiments at this hour. What came to the surface was surprising and reassuring at the same time. 

Our diners are waiting with bated breath to visit their favourite restaurant and gorge on food.

  • The city that can’t wait to party hard is Bengaluru.
  • Diners miss casual dining the most. They want to sit back and relax as their favourite dishes get served to them in a beautiful setting.
  • Big Chill in delhi has many takers, guess their years of amazing service has left a lasting impression on the diners mind and soul.
  • What dish most diners want to devour? 100 points for guessing it right. It’s PIZZA!

This was just a taste of what the diners are looking forward to. Find out about their food preferences, reservation mode, what all they want to avoid.

Dineout’s INSTA LIVE with Sagar Daryani | Ensuring Scale & Quality are Intact Post Lockdown

Dineout’s INSTA LIVE with Sagar Daryani | Ensuring Scale & Quality are Intact Post Lockdown

The extended lockdown had deeply impacted the restaurant industry. Some restaurants with only dining facilities are revamping their business model and trying to adapt to contactless delivery. Restaurants with delivery already in place are trying to ramp up their sales. 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 Sagar Daryani, Co-founder & CEO – WOW momo.

The session started with how restaurants can sustain their scale of food production and what measures they can take to ensure a safe dining experience post lockdown. While the industry still waits for the Government Aid to come through, it needs to work in partnership with various stakeholders to prepare for the post COVID world.

So, how does a restaurant prepare for the future, ensure quality control? 

  1. Hygiene will be King

There will be no better day than today to pay close attention to hygiene practices at restaurants. Any lack of hygiene will be a deal-breaker for a diner. A hand sanitiser will be omnipresent. Constant hygiene surveillance at the restaurants as well as inside the kitchen will set apart establishments. There will be a robust system in place to keep a tab on the cleanliness of restaurants, and the industry will move towards verified certification. 

The government has already launched the Arogya app. A similar move can be expected for various industries. Transparency in the hygiene process on an individual as well as business level will be the new norm. The dining set up will need to adhere to the 6 feet distance rule to operate safely.

  1. Adapt to the evolving business model

It is crucial to recognise opportunities in the midst of what the world has termed as an unprecedented crisis. Right now, the word contactless is creating a lot of buzz. It is essential to understand the nuances that are involved in delivering a contactless experience. A dining only restaurant will witness a rise in the takeaway category. Even though diners have started cooking, they soon will crave for restaurant-quality food. It will be crucial to nurture relationship diners, reassure them and provide safe food. Restaurants with dining outlets might open cloud kitchens for areas with demand for only delivery.

Restaurants with multiple outlets need to reevaluate their operational strategy. Cutting corners of establishments which are not profitable will save capital. Out of sight is out of mind. Restaurants will need to strive to adapt to the evolving business environment and diner needs and prepare accordingly.

  1. Technology will be the saviour

Technology will play a key role in how businesses shape over the next couple of months. Early adopters will have an edge. Restaurants will have to automate various touchpoints and remove unnecessary human interactions. Proper inventory management tools will help reduce waste. It will help track goods in storage and menu items that are popular. Restaurants will need to identify and promote the most popular dishes and increase order value. 

Digital menu, payment wallets will be popular amongst wary diners. In the next 6-8 months most establishments will adapt to this, and it will lead to habit formation amongst people. 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 the least human intervention. For such solutions and more, click here – https://inresto.com/contact.html

  1. Partner with stakeholders

The restaurant industry works with various stakeholders. At his point in time, this crisis has hit all stakeholders. Everyone is fighting the same enemy and trying to overcome the situation. To successfully get through this, each of these stakeholders will need to be transparent and work in tandem with one another. Most nonoperational restaurants are paying salaries and won’t be able to pay rent. In such a scenario, a revenue-sharing model will help both the landlord and restaurant survive. Restaurants need to reestablish their relationship with vendors and ensure quality assurance. 

Restaurants will need to build a strong association with aggregators and reach out to their diners. All the stakeholders will need to focus their energy on their area of expertise and work in a synchronised manner. It is important to recognise that each one of us, individually and collectively, is faced with a challenge to adapt and evolve. Restaurants will need to sacrifice on many fronts like covers, expansive menus and recipes. Innovation and technology is the only way forward. Educating diners of the safety measures, introducing hygiene etiquettes will be equally important.

Social media trends show diners getting more involved in their kitchens. But the other half of the picture is that diners will soon be bored with home-cooked food. That will be the window of opportunity for restaurants. To prepare the restaurant industry for the road ahead of us, Dineout has come up with the concept of Contactless Dining in the post COVID Era. To find out more, click here – https://inresto.com/contact.html

Guidelines for Resuming Restaurant Operations in a Post COVID World

Guidelines for Resuming Restaurant Operations in a Post COVID World

An Introduction to Contactless Dining

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Dineout’s LIVE Webinar | Measures to take Post the Lockdown 

The world is experiencing a one of a kind state of affairs. Countries all around the world have shut shops and are evaluating their timeline and the next steps. Our reactions at the moment need to be analyzed before we take any concrete steps. And to make matters worse, there is no textbook to refer to. But what we have is even better. We have able and expert minds. When these experts join forces, a miracle won’t be far away. And that’s what we aim to do here.

To shed a brighter light on measures that can be adopted post lockdown, Dineout launched a series of Live Webinar hosted by Vivek Kapoor, Co-founder of Dineout. In our very first webinar we were joined by industry stalwarts like  Rahul Singh, Founder & CEO of The Beer Cafe, ex-NRAI President; Vikrant Batra, Co-founder, Cafe Delhi Heights, Nueva & Dhansoo Cafe and Amit Roy, Restaurant Consultant, Founding Partner – Shilton Hospitality & Slug Hospitality/Watson’s. 

We are adapting the new way of conducting business, where webinars have replaced panel discussions. There is an overdose of information on the internet, especially with big numbers flashing on our screens. It makes sense to look at these numbers and introspect our next steps. But we must not forget that we have a moral obligation as an industry to fulfil, the one of bringing back smiles on the diners’ faces. We are in the business of giving our society places to celebrate, rejoice and feel normal again.

We bring you our in-depth conversation with our esteem panel members.

Need for Government Policies and Intervention/ Aid:

Governments’ aid to the F&B industry is crucial at this time, and the lack of any update is disheartening. Apart from an advisory to continue paying wages to staff restaurants have received no other direction from the Government. India’s restaurant business isn’t composed of a lot of big chain restaurants, which have better cash buffer days, keeping them afloat for about 2-3 month. However, the same for a small or mid-sized restaurant is approximately 15- 20 days.

At this juncture, the Government needs to weigh the economic repercussions on our 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 make payments to marginal suppliers and workforce. We need to somehow preserve cash flow to fulfil needs. Cash flow is the need of the hour, and the Government needs to ensure that. A sudden lockdown had led to a Chakka Jam. Instead a reroute could have been planned for businesses to function without burning it down to the ground. In order to operate a restaurant requires twice the number of licenses in comparison to someone who wants to own a firearm.

This alone doesn’t affect the restaurateurs; it impacts the livelihood of their employees and people who are in business with them.

Collaborate with Your Stakeholders:

A business functions due to the collaborative effort of multiple stakeholders. And each of these stakeholders are wary of the unknown. This pandemic has affected each of the stakeholders like landlord, vendors, aggregators, staff etc. Hence, each of these stakeholders must come up with a consolidated plan that benefits all. Survival is at stake, and in the ecosystem of a restaurant business, one cannot do without the other. Rental is a pain point for many restaurants. A restaurateur should communicate with his/her landlord and come up to a mutually beneficial resolution. Only if we survive this storm as a business community can we revive and rebuild. Anyone contemplating investing in new restaurant projects should steer clear of it. The existing restaurateurs are like fishermen, who can’t venture into the sea now, but can at least fix their nets.

NRAI has come up with multiple task forces to align the restaurant community’s needs and furnish it to the Government. In the background, NRAI is also successfully running city chapters where the needy are provided with meals. Taking suggestions from one of the viewers, NRAI is planning to come up with guidelines for restaurants in terms of hygiene and standard processes post-lockdown.

 

Adopting a New Business Model:

This is an unprecedented crisis, but the world is no stranger to crisis. Our ancestors have lived through wars and many diseases and lived to tell the tale. And we will do the same. The challenges we face at the moment are alien to us. However, it is important to treat each of these challenges as opportunities. 2020 is set to be a year of great change. This year is going to be instrumental in accelerating the crumbling of outdated structures and systems that have controlled the restaurant industry order for years. 

Home-delivery, take-away received its shining moment only amongst a select few restaurants. But the time has come when it needs to step out of the-cupboard-under-the-staircase. Fine dines, five stars and bars are contemplating joining the bandwagon. The industry needs these and more innovative models of business to survive and thrive. It is advisable for a new restaurateur to run his/her business like a mom & pop shop and get their hands dirty to stay afloat.

Restaurateurs with multiple chains should evaluate business from each of their outlets and draw a survival plan. Don’t make the mistake of good money chasing the bad money. The industry is experiencing a war like situation, and to win they need allies. Future mergers and acquisitions won’t be surprising and will prove fruitful to keep everyone afloat.

 

Role of Digital:

 

Where human interactions are being viewed under the lens, tech can help. The world will not wait for anyone to catch up. We should revisit our operational strategies and find areas where we can plug-in technology. Once operational, it will be rewarding for the staff as well as the diners. Some trends in China, where the business has resumed, highlight a new contactless dining experience. Physical menu has been replaced by the Digital menu with payment being made online. While our demographics are different, it won’t hurt to draw a trick or two from their playbook. Diners will be wary but keen on dining out, so offer them the safe place to dine.  Table management will be vital as diners will be against the idea of waiting in long queues. Dineout’s Reserve simplifies and automates this process with least human intervention. For such solutions and more, click here – https://inresto.com/contact.html

Educating the diners about the new way of dining and safety measures planned to be adopted at restaurants is equally important at this point. And the easiest way to reach out to them is via social media. It is easy to be caught up in the myriad of fake news and speculation. Sales drop for non-veg food items and corona beer serve as worthy examples to learn from.

Staff and Resource Management:

A restaurant is empty without its staff. A fresh and smiling face greeting at the door, ushering us to a table is a sight to behold. It takes ages for anyone to learn the methods of a restaurant business. It’s not just the business of food, it’s the business of people as well. Retaining employees will prove to be instrumental when the restaurants’ doors open. It is important to extend a helping hand to our employees who are only skilled to do this, and have no other skills to earn their livelihood. Some staff members have found innovative ways to continue catering to the diners. One of Watson’s DJ hosts a DJ night. Other restaurants’ chefs are showcasing recipes and bartenders are uploading easy to fix drinks on Instagram Live. They intend to keep the spirits high.

What we miss out in this myriad of crisis, is the cost involved in fresh hiring and re-training. Post-COVID era will give us very little time to up our game. When it does, we will need our team. 

 

Even though most kitchens have no sound of knives slicing through that fresh produce, the heart of a restaurateur is still beating. A chef is longing to put on his apron. A server cannot wait to see the glint in the diners eye when serving the food. And most importantly, a diner cannot cook forever. In 2020 hope will not be cancelled. 

Some industry bodies are doing extraordinary charity work. NRAI has come up with a commendable campaign, Feed the Needy, which has served more than half a million meals.

 

If you have the attention span that puts most millennials to shame, watch the entire session here

 

We have many more interactive sessions planned for our restaurant business community. Watch out for the next one on our social media channels.