With the vaccine rollout finally ramping up, it seems like the future is bright for the restaurant business after months of darkness. As a result, many business owners and restauranteurs are looking at the various ways that they can properly equip and outfit their restaurant for future business. Obviously, some buyer behavior will probably have changed for the foreseeable future, so it’s important to ensure that you’re factoring in more deliveries and takeout orders even for the next year. That being said, there are a lot of other things you may need to spruce up in and around your restaurant as you begin to prepare for more customers in the coming months.
While every restaurant is different, there are certainly some things that will remain important to focus on regardless of your menu, cuisine, or size. As such, the following list is focused on some of the most common things a restauranteur will need to upgrade or consider sprucing up as they get ready to reopen. Keep reading for three tips that will go a long way in outfitting your restaurant properly and allowing you to transition out of the COVID-19 pandemic with aplomb.
1. Consider your exterior as well as your interior.
While many homeowners may know about the benefits of vinyl siding, it’s not always as common for business owners to consider how vinyl siding may impact their restaurant. For starters, vinyl siding is durable and is designed to withstand the elements like rain, wind, and snow.
If you’re a restaurant owner running a business in the midwest or east coast where inclement weather is common, it’s a good idea to weigh the pros and cons of vinyl siding for your restaurant, since vinyl could be a more affordable and durable solution than wood siding when it comes to moisture, cracks, mold, and pests like termites.
In addition to looking into vinyl siding, you may also want to think about whether or not your windows have been replaced recently or not, since newer windows, like new siding, can play a role in how your restaurant stays insulated.
2. Look for ways to cut costs wherever possible.
Another important thing to consider as you’re thinking about opening up your restaurant again is to look for ways to keep your cash flow as smooth as possible. While it’s true that the easing of restrictions is good for businesses, most restaurants aren’t out of the woods yet, and so paying for new equipment may be out of the realm of possibility.
That being said, if you do need an important piece of equipment in order to run your business, it may be worth looking into a restaurant equipment lease or restaurant equipment financing. Some lenders will help you manage your lease payments and monthly payments, even if you have bad credit, which can be an incredibly helpful financing option if your credit score took a hit due to the pandemic.
Used restaurant equipment financing can be even more beneficial since the equipment finance on used kitchen equipment can be even less costly than buying new equipment. If you’re not opening a new restaurant (or even if you are) used restaurant equipment should always be considered over new equipment, since your money goes further in these sorts of scenarios and many pieces of restaurant equipment are relatively low maintenance, to begin with.
3. Don’t forget to invest in your employees.
Restaurant workers have had a rough time thanks to COVID-19, and even though some coronavirus relief bills offer a tax deduction here or there, it’s important that your employees feel supported when they return to work. This matters from a financial standpoint as well as a mental health standpoint. Keeping your hours fair, raising your pay, or eliminating tips altogether can make a big difference in the lives of your staff.
Especially in the restaurant industry, having great employees with strong morale can really make a big difference when it comes to repeat visits from customers, so be sure to make it clear to job applicants that you’re invested in your team from multiple angles.