For most restaurants and bars, the spread of COVID-19 has upended operations like a waiter dropping a tray full of dishes. While it’s hard to expect the unexpected, there are steps operators can take to protect their businesses from future disruptions.

Try a bite of tech

The ability to be agile and quickly turn from full-service to drive-thru, pick-up and delivery offerings has been essential during the pandemic. As many consumers remain at home under quarantine and stay-at-home policies, technology has allowed restaurants and bars to pivot more easily to meet diner demand and fulfill orders.

Whether in times of success or crisis, technology is expected to remain a cornerstone for the survival and growth of bars and restaurants. Up to 40% of businesses could die out in the next 10 years if they don’t adopt new technologies, the National Restaurant Association wrote.

Apps like UberEats, Postmates, Favor and Grubhub are already fueling the demand for delivery. Digital platforms like OpenTable and ResyOS have allowed businesses to keep tabs on capacity by offering reservation solutions.

Hospitality management software Craftable can also help fuel success by managing finances. The tool, which can be integrated into more than 60 point-of-sale and accounting platforms, tracks costs of goods, streamlines invoices, and links inventory, payments and sales reporting.

As a result, bars and restaurants can trim 70% off administrative labor costs, simmer down food costs by 2% to 3%, and reduce pour costs by 3% to 5%.

Be proactive with profits

Operators can also future-proof their businesses by finding and addressing issues before they become problems. The proactive approach can insulate restaurants and bars from profit loss.

Possible risks may be identified by analyzing menu quality and point-of-service interactions, and by assessing back- and front-of-house staff management.

Craftable can also help restaurants and bars keep tabs on labor costs, purchasing and procurement, menu and recipe costs, and units sold per transaction. Real-time cost and profit calculators let operators know what’s popular on their menus, and what dishes or drinks may be dragging down sales and profit margins.

Tune into the crowd

While certain strategies may have helped a restaurant or bar build an existing customer base, those same strategies may not win over consumers in the future. Operators must be able to evaluate their successes and failures to quickly adapt and offer customers what they’re craving.

Good strategy assessment includes looking at finances, menu successes and failures, new and existing customer demographics, and employee and customer satisfaction. Additionally, restaurants and bars should have an understanding of their competition, market and reach.

Tweaking their strategies and future-proofing their businesses also requires operators to track customer behavior and follow trends. Staying involved in the hospitality community can help operators keep a pulse on trends and learn from other successes and failures.

Craftable can keep operators up-to-date by tracking finances and top-sellers. Its tools also track customer reach and financial trends.

Find the recipe for growth

Becoming more agile will allow bars and restaurants to improve guest experiences while continuing to cook up fat margins. Operators can continue to grow their businesses by adopting new strategies and empowering staff to contribute in creative ways.

Craftable can also cultivate growth by helping cut unnecessary costs, protecting margins with contract price negotiation and protecting cash flow by providing an understanding of the business’ finances.

Through fat and lean times, Craftable can help future-proof your business. Sign up for a free trial and find your ingredients for success.