In a matter of weeks, the spread of COVID-19 has completely changed the average American’s lifestyle, from where they work to how often they go out for dinner and drinks. Restaurants and bars have had to pivot with those changes, adapting to serve customers, keep staff healthy and stay in business.
As cities, counties and states hand down quarantine measures, most Americans are limiting how often they venture outside. And with some of those measures restricting dine-in service, restaurants and bars are seeing a huge drop in traffic. According to Datassential, 62% of people are avoiding eating out.
Meeting new diner demands
Still, there’s some demand for food outside of the home kitchen. Half of Americans told Datassential they plan to order delivery or takeout instead of eating inside restaurants. That’s led 65% of eateries to shut down their dine-in areas but keep delivery and takeout open for business.
To make takeaway and delivery tastier options, some restaurants have cooked up more affordable and easier-to-order offerings. Chick N Max, a fast-casual chain based in Wichita, Kansas, is featuring the Wichita Proud Boxed Meal, which includes two drumsticks, one side and a piece of toast for just $2. The meal is available for delivery from three Wichita locations.
On the more upscale side, celebrity chef Wolfgang Puck is offering a curbside family meal at his Beverly Hills, California, restaurant Spago. Priced at $49 per person, the meal includes five appetizers, a pasta dish, one entrée, three sides and three desserts, CNN wrote.
Meanwhile, as delivery has become more popular, Karazishi Botan, a ramen restaurant based in Brooklyn, New York, is offering new options like Tonkotsu ramen, miso botanical ramen and a porcini mushroom-based soup, all designed for easy travel, Restaurant Business reported.
And Flat & Point, another Chicago eatery, is taking the pain out of ordering. The restaurant allows guests to email their orders and phone numbers. The kitchen then calls back to confirm and schedule the customer’s preferred curbside pickup date and time, Restaurant Business wrote.
Other restaurants are finding success by tweaking their business models. With social media feeds featuring photos of empty store shelves, some restaurants are pivoting to meet the demand for groceries. Dog Haus Worldwide, a Los Angeles-based restaurant chain, has launched Haus Market, which offers ingredients from the Dog Haus pantry for consumers to cook at home. Some products include gourmet hot dogs, sausages, tater tots and Kings Hawaiian rolls, Forbes reported.
Dog Haus was able to quickly pivot to the grocery store model by adding Haus Market offerings to its existing point-of-sale system. The restaurant also ensured it had the right packaging for its items and implemented new procedures at participating locations, Forbes wrote.
Dog Haus eateries in Arizona, California, Colorado, Illinois, Maryland, New York and Texas are participating in the grocery store concept. Products are only available for curbside delivery and takeout.
Bars try to keep a buzz
Many Americans are also thirsty for alcoholic offerings. Fifty percent of U.S. consumers are drinking the same amount of alcohol as they did before the pandemic, and 15% are ordering takeout and delivery with alcoholic drinks, according to a study by Nielsen CGA.
Gina Genschle, owner of Revolution Wines in Sacramento, California, is keeping her business afloat by offering a service not available at local restaurants. After consulting with a wine-focused legal firm, she found that Sacramento eateries don’t have a license to sell wine for diners to take offsite, Wine Magazine wrote.
As a wine manufacturer, takeout service is tied to Revolution Wine’s license with the city. As a result, the wine bar can offer its full menu and wine list for curbside delivery and takeaway.
In Los Angeles, Bar Avalon restaurant and wine bar EVE have teamed up to create Bodega Avalon. The retailer offers prepared food and wine for delivery through apps like Postmates and Caviar, according to Wine Magazine.
For those willing to venture out, Bodega Avalon also offers wine and meals to-go, as well as produce and bottled water. Among its offerings is another in-demand item – toilet paper.
Tech helps with takeout
As the hospitality industry adapts to changes brought on by COVID-19, Craftable can help. The software tracks costs of goods, streamlines invoices, and links inventory, payments and sales reporting.
While sales are leaner during the pandemic, it can help protect profits with contract price negotiation. It also gives restaurant and bar owners a real-time understanding of their business’ finances.
During COVID-19, Craftable’s tools can help you keep a healthy bottom line. Sign up for a free trial and find success for your restaurant or bar.