Restaurants are beginning to get back in the swing of things and start operating under a new normal. As things pick back up, so do peak busy times. These can be a little tricky to navigate under new normal operations, but it’s important to do so. Safely handling your peak restaurant hours will enable you to continue to do business and keep customers and employees safe.
Provide New Service Options
With dine-in services operating at limited capacity at best, or not at all, it’s essential that restaurants offer other service options to customers. This might include options such as setting up outdoor dining, offering curbside pickup, and adding online ordering and delivery options. Many businesses are outsourcing their online ordering and delivery by partnering with groups such as DoorDash and GrubHub. This can help you avoid needing to hire additional staff to handle deliveries. It does tend to cut into your profit margin, however, since these companies take a cut of what customers are charged.
Enforce Social Distancing
Enforcing social distancing is a requirement for offering dine-in services for some restaurants. This adds extra incentive to enforce a practice that reduces the risk of contracting COVID-19 for both employees and patrons. Restaurants can enforce social distancing inside their restaurants by removing or blocking off seating that would put customers in close proximity to one another. Most people don’t seem to be very good at judging exact distances, so adding ground markers can help people space out appropriately. Don’t just add them inside though. You should place ground markers outside where customers line up to enter your restaurant. If your peak hours bring enough patrons that you can’t accommodate all of them inside, this will help keep people safer outside as well.
Don’t Get Sloppy
It’s easy to become lax during peak business hours. There’s more pressure to move quickly and serve more people. There’s a reason people say “less haste, more speed”, though. In addition to improving efficiency, taking the time to clean as you go will help keep everyone safe. Be consistent with cleaning regimens and social distancing and capacity standards even during busy hours.
Restaurants need rushes and peak hours of operation to make ends meet and turn a profit. It’s important to do so safely, however. Consider providing new service options if you haven’t already. Enforce social distancing in your restaurant. Make sure you consistently uphold policies and standards for health and cleanliness. This will help you protect the health and wellbeing of your customers and staff.
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