When the day comes – when you can legally operate your dining room again – you’ll be relieved, exhausted, and excited.
Focus on that day now.
The Opportunity of a Lifetime
How you re-open your restaurants will dictate how much success you experience in the future.
Like everything else you have dealt with during this crisis, this next step won’t come with advance notice; it will just happen, and you won’t get any lead time before you need to swing into action.
Look forward to that adrenaline pumping again.
When you call your people back for their first staff meeting – and they feel their own relief about going back to work – you have a chance to make them better than ever before.
Improve small (and large) things that will make your restaurants better.
That means service, culture, offerings, attitude, and teamwork.
At one of my clients, we had planned this year to roll out an entirely new system of culture, managing people, and accountability.
Now we realize this tragedy comes with an incredible one-time opportunity to completely focus and educate the work force when they come back.
The results will be way better than if we had done this during operations.
Learn from that.
More Like Opening Than Re-opening
On that day, open your old restaurants like you would a new restaurant.
Trained and experienced people who know your operations enable you to open your restaurants smoothly.
I advised my clients that, when they furloughed their staff, to keep in touch with them weekly – to remind them “furloughed” does not mean “fired,” and that you care about them and their families.
You are going to be back and better than ever.
Text or email them weekly and you’ll improve the likelihood of retaining them when the dining room opens again.
If you have not done this yet, start now.
Some Staff Won’t Be Back
A certain percentage of your workforce (the new people) will need to be trained like you were opening a new store.
Prepare for that now.
Maybe you will get lucky and be able to phase in operations – letting new staff train on the floor.
But you should also prepare now for the fact that some of your workforce will have found jobs in other sectors, at Amazon, or the local grocery store.
Others will succumb to human nature and continue at home on their state and federal unemployment benefits whether you have work for them or not.
Be Ready to Dominate
My clients’ restaurants have track records of everything from 1 to 65 years.
The people who own them have spent years keeping guests thrilled and employees hustling.
Owners never have the chance to stop, completely press the reset button, and make improvements.
Use the managers you still have on payroll to prepare training and education on upgrades to your system – the things you have thought about a million times, or written on sticky notes, but never had time to deal with.
The owners of successful independent multi-unit restaurant companies who do this position themselves to dominate when all restaurant dining rooms open.
If you are looking for something positive to do now, you just found it.
If you want to talk about how the COVID-19 virus is impacting your business, please schedule a free call with me and I will help you.