How Are Restaurants Adjusting to Life Beyond the Pandemic?
If you’ve eaten at a restaurant in the last year, you’ve surely noticed some changes. Many restaurants have dramatically shifted their ways of doing business. From QR codes instead of re-usable menus, to sanitation stations strategically placed around the space, restaurants have had to adjust their operations. Many have been affected by supply chain disruptions and price increases that affect their ability to turn a profit.
Supply Chain Disruptions
Nothing affects a restaurant’s bottom line like the supply chain. Owners, managers, and chefs have had to get creative when a popular menu item becomes an “86”, which means there are not enough ingredients left to prepare it. This can be a common occurrence, as demand has overwrought supply for many items like chicken, bacon, imported alcohol, and more.
How do restaurants solve these potential problems? Creativity. By using their skills, chefs have worked to create something delicious using the ingredients they have on hand, or by getting new ingredients they haven’t tried before. Many places have even found that these new items sell better than the previously offered products!
Once restaurants were able to have diners return, almost every business was turning to outdoor dining to help slow the spread of COVID. Many restaurants have found that they are able to keep this outdoor dining year-round, in addition to indoor dining, resulting in higher profits than ever before.
For many, outdoor dining nearly doubled their capacity, even while adhering to social distancing guidelines. Outdoor dining was initially meant to be a stopgap measure for many owners; however, in many places around the United States, has now become part of the new normal.
When dining came back, we knew that the re-usable menus of old would no longer work. QR code technology has long been available but was not used all that often. Now that most dining restrictions have been lifted throughout the country, restaurants are continuing to use QR codes. It allows the patrons to have access to menus immediately after being seated, expediting their experience. However, most restaurants still keep a few printed menus available for anyone who may prefer them.
Restaurants have always been held to a high standard of cleanliness. With the onset of COVID-19, sanitization stations have become a normal, yet still encouraging sight. Restaurants have found convenient locations for sanitization stations, whether they be sinks or touch-free hand sanitizer dispensers. Studies have shown that these give diners much-appreciated peace of mind and encourages restaurant loyalty.
Switching to eco-friendly, single use disposables has helped to stop the spread of germs. When customers and employees aren’t sharing the same supplies, it’s much harder for germs to spread in the establishment.
Regarding eco-friendliness, there are so many options available now, from bamboo to wood to bioplastic materials. This is another thing diners are looking for now. Many people are more likely to be loyal to a restaurant that is focused on eco-friendly and environmentally conscious practices.
If you’re a restaurant owner, Office Specialists can help you get the restaurant supplies you need to adapt in this changing landscape.