BURLINGTON, Ontario—Restaurants and retailers are bracing for a miserable winter as the weather cools and COVID-19 cases rise. How can foodservice operators thrive in this climate? Canadian industry expert Doug Radkey, president of KRG Hospitality Inc., gives some tips in RestoBiz.
Start with a self-assessment. “Take some time to go through every part of your response to the first wave and ask yourself two fairly simple questions: ‘What did we do well?’ and ‘What didn’t we do so well?’” Radkey said.
Create an action plan. Radkey recommends making plans for 30, 60 and 90 days, with continual “rinse and repeat” steps of that process. “These plans must also include cash-flow projections and creating both action and contingency plans,” he said.
Conduct a hyper-local analysis. It’s important for retailers to know “local government mandates, but also consumer demand and the ever-changing competitive landscape,” Radkey said.
Develop flexible options. Operators need to have more ways to serve customers, such as “modified dine-in experiences, elevated patio experiences, curbside ordering and pickup, introducing food lockers, Christmas and New Year catering packages, emphasis on retail (meal and cocktail kits + alcohol etc.), online events such as pre-booked taste-maker education sessions, online ordering, reservations, and sales (using in-house platforms), and delivery options (strive for first party followed by third party and ‘last mile’),” he said.
“We have to develop a concept or business model that focuses on the experience first and foremost, whether on-premise or off-premise. Once you embrace that, you can formulate a plan to weather the second wave,” Radkey said. “With that mindset and planning, the revenue and profits will follow.”
The NACS Crack the Code Experience offers seven Education Sessions related to foodservice and they are a must-watch for those preparing for all of the unknowns a second wave of COVID-19 could bring. There’s still time to register for your own Crack the Code Experience! Don’t delay—register today!