How Top Restaurants Respond to Diners’ Return

The not-so-secret formula to exceeding your 2019 revenue by double digits?

Getting to see friendly faces again.

With capacity restrictions on your dining room removed as if by magic, you’ll see lots of customers you recognize from a long time ago.  

Now that they’re vaccinated, even former guests who had been gravely concerned or are medically at risk have started to become confident enough to order to-go, delivery, and curbside for the first time in a year.

Uber Eats demand for deliveries? Up, not down. That’s counterintuitive.

Finally, other guests, who have settled into a habit they will never break – and enjoyed delivery and curbside during more difficult days – continue to use that channel.

Even though it’s a channel that never even crossed their mind pre-pandemic.

(Personally, I can’t remember the last time I walked the aisles in a grocery store – seems like a time suck now.)

Top operators know that understanding new guest behavior is key to dominating their segment as we go forward. 

What I Advise My Clients

Monday, May 3, at 4 PM CDT – two weeks from today – see me discuss this and other real-world issues in a webinar: “Let’s Eat – How Restaurants Should Respond as Nighttime Diners Return.”

Free registration is here.

Also on board: Ron Ruggless, Senior Editor of Nation’s Restaurant News.

Created by 24HourDallas and sponsored by Fresh Point, this event is hosted by 24HourDallas’s VP Heather Pickett and Founder/President Randall White.

24HourDallas is an organization devoted to creating a safe, vibrant, and diverse nighttime culture for Dallas businesses, residents, and guests.

I’ll address the same things I do when I advise my clients – owners of successful independent restaurant companies:

  • How to operate with a diverse set of guests – the maskers and anti-maskers, the vaccinated and the never-will-be-vaccinated – that now co-exist under our roofs.
  • How to focus on employee happiness and wellbeing (and retention).
  • How to deal with both the most severe labor shortage we have ever seen – and the vagaries of the supply chain.

With Dallas known to be a trailblazing restaurant industry city, this event will definitely help you navigate the new world even if your cell phone number does not have a 214, 972, or 469 at the beginning.