As a restaurant manager, you need to adhere to the COVID-19 regulations in your city and operate your business in a way that maximizes profit, while preserving the health of staff and customers. Whether you’re getting ready to reopen to the public, increase seating capacity, or you’re simply preparing to resume normal business operations, there are a few things you should be doing right now as a restauranteur during the COVID-19 pandemic:
Stay on Top of Local Guidelines
Throughout the pandemic, the rules for restaurants have differed significantly by location. And in many places, the rules change on a monthly or even weekly basis. As a restaurant manager, you need to stay on top of these guidelines, and make sure that you and your staff are current on the regulations. Don’t forget to stock up on products like air filters and hand sanitizer, and make sure to post information about table spacing, mask rules, and cleaning protocols so staff and customers are on the same page.
Communicate with Your Customers
Some diners may still be hesitant to eat in restaurants. But others are ready to visit their favorite restaurants again, especially as more people get vaccinated. To prepare for a potential uptick in business, it’s important to communicate with your customers. Let them know how many people can sit at a table, whether you accept walk-ins, how your service has changed, and of course, what precautions you take to keep diners safe. Post signs inside and use social media to get the word out.
Diversify Your Restaurant Dining Offerings
If your business’s profits took a major hit over the last year, now is the time to diversify your restaurant's offerings, especially with new expenses like specialty cleaning supplies and masks. Get creative and consider what makes your restaurant unique. For those still doing takeout, can you sell meal kits with the ingredients to make one of your signature menu items? Could you partner with a local bakery and offer complimentary cookies with every delivery order? Or, maybe you could offer a 10% discount on dinner entrees one night per week.
Continuing Education for Restaurant Managers
If you’re looking to take your skills as a restaurant manager to the next level, consider enrolling in the Culinary Arts/Restaurant Management program at Pennsylvania School of Culinary Arts—a division of YTI Career Institute—in Lancaster. You will have an opportunity to hone your culinary skills, learn about restaurant management, develop your professionalism, and adapt to changes in the industry—even a pandemic. You’ll also have the opportunity to take what you’ve learned in the classroom out into the real world during a three-month externship. Students graduate with an associate degree in specialized business in as little as 21 months.