The New Normal post COVID-19 is unpredictable. We can make assumptions about how the world will go about their day to day life post pandemic but right now we can’t be sure of anything. Post COVID-19 people will avoid large gatherings and crowded places as much as possible. There are lots of questions going through the minds of every business owner. What we can do right now is learn from statistics and plan accordingly! The question we are dreading to find answers for is what changes and what doesn’t post COVID-19?
Supply Chains: Many restaurateurs take pride in knowing from where their food comes from. Supply Chains of the restaurants are a very integral part of the quality of food they serve. So, a lot of question marks will be there when it comes to supply chains. Since it requires being handled by many people at different levels from production to storage to transportation. There will be a lot of sanitation issues regarding them at all the mentioned levels.
Since, Poultry is the most selling item in the menu of any non-vegetarian food serving restaurant it will take a huge hit. More specifically in India, where a lot of people tend to drop meat consumption during any mass spread of disease. We have seen people dropping meat consumption when swine flu was spreading rapidly, same is being observed now. Major population of the country will avoid meat consumption. With this pandemic on the rise poultry farmers will be hesitant to supply fresh batches to businesses since there will be a lot of price fluctuation and mostly the prices will decline for the foreseeable future.
You might have to reconsider your supply chains, for example if you buy most of your fresh produce from the nearby market but that place is getting chaotic and unsanitized then you have to get your produce from a more organized and sanitary market.
Ever Changing Menus: Menu will vary from what you can get a constant supply of and what people would likely to eat or not eat. Owners and Chef have to work around their supply and study what their customer would likely to eat. For Example if your customers are avoiding chicken and preferring fish then you should work around your menu to have more fish options.
Spatial Arrangements: We are constantly being advised to maintain physical distancing and staying 6 Feet Apart from everyone. So, it is no brainer that people wouldn’t be comfortable sitting in places that are too close to other tables. You have to make arrangements to have more space between different tables.
Sanitation: This is very important not only for your customers but also for your employees. Restaurants usually clean the tables with a damp cloth and just be done with it but now that is unacceptable. You have to thoroughly clean not just the table but also the condiments bottles, spoon and forks, stands, and even the chairs. You have to clean out all the surfaces that are touched by your customers and you have to do it after every time the customer leaves.
Sanitation will be a very important factor because your customers will come from all over the place and you never know if they touched an unsanitary surface or if sneezed or coughed on their hands and forgot to clean it.
One thing you can do is have someone open the door so customers don’t touch it and when they enter offer them sanitizers so their hands are clean. Instead of having a stand full of spoons you can keep the spoon, fork and knives on the table when customers arrive and remove it as soon as customers leave. Keep a limited number of tissue on the table so not all the tissues are being touched by the customers. Remove salt and pepper shakers and provide either in packets or on demand
Encourage Use of Technology: Currency Notes are one of the dirtiest items and you never know how many people have touched it and in what condition. People might sneeze or cough and unintentionally touch the notes. Many bacterias are also found on the notes. So, make it compulsory or encourage the customers to pay online and send their bill online via email. Add more payment options to make it convenient for the customers- like PayTm, Google Pay etc. This will help you cut costs even if it is little by not spending money printer ink, papers but also will enable you to have a better record of the transactions. Cards can also be acceptable but wipe it before and after use.
These are some things that will change post COVID-19. Few things that won’t change is people are still gonna want to go to a restaurant even if they go less frequently. You as a business owner will have to make sure people feel comfortable to come and eat at your premises. So, you have to make sure you make sanitation and cleanliness your first priority and deliver the best service to your customers.