Do you know what the pandemic did to restaurants worldwide?
It did not shut them down.
It did not cause a total loss.
What happened was one step worse – The pandemic crippled restaurants.
Restaurants started operating at limited capacity. They could stay open for a few days of the week and only for a few hours.
This crippled the entire industry. It almost equals sa never-ending slow season for restaurants.
What is a slow season?
For most restaurants, there are a few weeks/months when they experience lesser footfall. We term this as a slow season. There is nothing wrong restaurants have done. It is simply a period where customers prefer trying trending and seasonal food.
Because of the pandemic, restaurants have been facing a slow season since 2020. There have been new variants being found, periodical lockdowns, and curfews being applied. Hence, restaurants find it tough to brave out this never-ending slow season.
Impact on restaurants during the slow season:
When a restaurant faces a slow season, it affects the business drastically. Some restaurants survive while the rest perish. Here are a few effects slow season causes to a restaurant.
- Losing out on regular customers:
- Down staffing:
- Reducing inventory levels:
- Low sales and losses:
- Unable to pay loan EMI & Eventual shutdown:
With the pandemic running large, restaurants lose out on steady customers. Office executives who used to order in bulk reduce or stop placing orders sas they work from home now. Regular customers avoid ordering from out because of health concerns. This means, as a restaurant, you lose out on a chunk of customers.
A slow season means lesser footfalls. With the lockdown and limited capacity, you are looking at bare minimum guests. This equals low sales. It becomes painful to manage fixed costs and pay salaries for all employees. Hence, restaurants resort to down staffing and keeping a few employees required to run the restaurant.
After losing customers and down staffing, restaurants lower their inventory levels. This is to avoid wastage of ingredients with smaller shelf life. Also, this can help them save costs.
It is only a matter of a few weeks or months before restaurants see red in their ledger. A slow season can do that to the best restaurants as well. Low sales and higher fixed costs lead to losses for the restaurant.
2 scenarios take place in the end. Either you cannot afford the rent/loan EMI OR you decide to shut down shop before the losses become huge.
Now that we know the impact, here’s how restaurants can plan and beat the slow season smartly.
- Move portion of extra sales during peak season in reserves:
- Investments to ensure savings are growing:
- Know your fixed costs:
- Reduce labor costs:
- Make the best out of your working hours:
- Adjust inventory levels and food menu:
- Social media is FREE & your best friend:
When you begin your restaurant and have a peak season, move a portion of your extra sales in reserves. This account is to be used during the slow season and emergencies only. That way, you always will have some money to fight the slow season.
Moving the money into reserves is a good idea. Apart from that, start investing to ensure your savings grow with time. As mentioned above, restaurants will use the reserve money for a slow season. Until a slow season arrives, invest and multiply your money.
It is good practice to know your restaurant’s fixed costs. This way, you know how many sales you need to make to break even and make profits.
Down staffing during the lockdown became an accepted norm. As you will operate with limited capacity and timings, it makes little sense to maintain an entire staff. Hence, you can reduce labor costs to lower your fixed expenses.
Yes, you have limited timings and capacity, so what? Make the best out of it. Create promotional offers and plan how you will distribute them to every customer. Work on attracting them to your restaurant.
Adjust your inventory levels and the food menu. Most perishable items do not survive a few days. Hence, it is best to maintain a stock of items that will not be wasted. Change the menu accordingly.
Social media is FREE. Now that your restaurant is open for limited hours, attract customers online by staying active on social media. Connect with customers, send promotional offers, and let them know when your restaurant is open for dine-ins (daily timings).
Is there a solution where you can do all of this in the best way possible?
Yes, that solution is KafeCloud – A unique restaurant management software that understands your business and lets you run it to the best of its abilities.
What is KafeCloud?
KafeCloud is restaurant management software that helps in managing your restaurant effectively. With the help of our unique online ordering system, any restaurant can run its business smoothly, minus any hassle.
KafeCloud is not just software. Our system can help transform your restaurant and stay ahead of the competition. So if you are looking for the best online ordering system, connect with us for a FREE DEMO.