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