Creative Ideas for Restaurants During the COVID-19 Epidemic

Tips for restaurant owners to stay open and minimize the impact of the COVID-19 epidemic while actually helping your community.

Small business owners of all industries are suffering heavily due to the COVID-19 epidemic. Social distancing and government-enforced closures throughout the world are causing restaurants and food vendors to shut their doors in fear, leaving those business owners and employees in a state of panic.

Here are some of the ways restaurant owners can get creative and find ways to continue to serve their local communities.

Offer No Contact Free Delivery

If you aren’t already doing online deliveries via Door Dash or Uber Eats, consider offering free no contact delivery. Make it known to your customers that you will acknowledge social distancing and safely leave their order at the door. Just be sure you are properly set up to compensate your employees for gas/miles if using personal vehicles.

Create Meal Kits

Restaurants of all cuisines can benefit from offering pre-packaged meal kits, available for pick-up and delivery. Pizza parlors, taco shops, and burger joints can all create not only a way to generate revenue but create an activity that is fun and unique for families that are stuck at home.

Promote Gift Card Sales

Try promoting a gift card campaign. You can offer an extra incentive like “double bucks” – where a customer can buy a $25 gift card now good for $50 after a specific date, particularly after COVID-19 threat has minimized.

Give Back to the Community

Consider doing a social media fundraiser or silent auction to get people involved with your business that truly benefits both parties. Make it meaningful and thoughtful – consider what makes the most sense for your business’s social mission.

Example: Consider a “Hot Meals for Heroes” pool. Let your followers all donate a small fee (such as $5 donation), and use the money to create meals that you can deliver to your local heroes, healthcare workers, first responders, etc. Not only will this help your business through this trying time, but you will truly feel amazing being able to provide a hot meal for those of us working the front lines of this epidemic.

There are undoubtedly other ways to be creative as a restaurant owner and do everything you can to minimize the impact of what our economy is feeling across the globe right now. Remember, we are all in this together. Humanity as a whole is counting each day when we can see the light at the end of the tunnel.


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