How to Cope and Know Your Restaurant Business Will Survive

It started with the feelings we share with people around the world about the COVID-19 threat: shock, grief, disbelief, and fear.

And it continued with the undercutting of our belief that working hard, staying smart, and continually improving our businesses would mean continued success.

It is more than enough for anyone to handle.

Every day, as we continue to deal with our personal feelings about the crisis – how it affects our families, neighbors, and communities – we try to focus on how to save our businesses and livelihoods, and those of the people we have chosen to work with us.

Acknowledge both sets of circumstances.

As you cope, separate them.

Most people don’t do well with massive change in an instant, so give yourself some time.

Take care of your families. Keep in touch with your friends and furloughed employees.

If you have taken the right steps, your company will continue and thrive when all is said and done.

The CARES act passed by congress is going to help you.

Fear, Shock, Grief, and Disbelief

At the beginning of this crisis every day felt like a year.

While the feelings don’t fade, the circumstances changed every morning.

In the first week of this crisis, I contacted all my clients to make sure they had taken steps to set their businesses up to survive this crisis.

One sounded like he was slumped over his desk in shock, disbelief, and grief as he told me, “I can’t believe everything I have worked for over 17 years could vanish in a week.”

In a week, the space of time between two operations meetings – a time that typically breezes by – he’d gone from operating a thriving business and thinking about a great future to being concerned about losing his dining rooms, customers, and most staff.

So we made adjustments to strengthen his company’s cash position and, by the end of that conversation, I was able to remind him that he was actually in a pretty good position relative to most in the industry.

Substantial cash reserves, a popular brand, low check average – these criteria point to a business set to come out strong when dining rooms re-open and guests come back.

Another client talked to me while wandering aimlessly around his shuttered 375-seat restaurant – with an eerie feeling he had never had: disbelief.

He was starting to question his personal stability.

So we re-focused his attention toward the popularity of his restaurant.

After all, he had already cut a deal with his landlord to relieve pressure of overhead and cash flow.

And his burn rate while closed was going to be very low compared to many peers – regardless of whether his aggressive to-go and delivery efforts turned out to be a business.

Ready, Steady

Steady yourself by separating both the personal and business challenges of this crisis.

Take all steps to protect yourself, your family, and your business.

If you want to talk about how to make sure your business survives the COVID-19 virus, please schedule a free call with me and I will help you.