The outbreak of Covid-19 has brought our nation through a rollercoaster of emotions, leaving us all — especially the small business owner– in a state of uncertainty, even panic. As consumers we’ve swept the shelves clean of basic essentials and have taken to isolation to weather this viral storm that swirls around us while the small business owner is left wondering if their isolation will ever end, or if they’ll ever open their doors again. It is estimated that 5-7 million jobs in the restaurant industry were lost in the last few weeks alone, and everyone across the food industry is banning together to help one-another just make it through each passing day.
Restaurants and COVID-19: Trying Something New
In an interview published by Bon Appetit, restaurant owners have been scrambling to switch to delivery; uncharted waters for some of these establishments.
“Never in a million years did I think we would be doing delivery.” stated the Misti, the owner of Petra in Dallas, TX. But when faced with keeping the lights on, it’s a switch that must be made. She went on to mention how they revamped their entire menu to keep costs low and choose items that travel well. And it’s been working.
Elysa Dinzes, MenuCalc’s in-house R.D. and food-industry expert recommends a few tips for the small food business having to be flexible during this time:
“Offer incentives for families that are cost-effective: whether it’s family-style meals that a great for a group to share or meals that re-heat well the next day. Encourage customers to think outside the box and order pre-made meals that they can not only enjoy now, but later as well.”
Other restaurants have found the “order for later” method to work very well. Deborah VanTrece at Twisted Soul in Georgia came from a catering background and found it effective to create pre-prepped meals that customers can quickly order and enjoy at home later.
Serving the Staff
The emerging consensus among all establishments that are staying afloat is that we must remain flexible. From closing the dining room to switching to delivery, restaurants that do their best to see the glass half-full are able to respond to the crisis with options.
Many of these options including the support of the staff. In an effort to provide some relief to restaurant workers, non-profits, like the LEE Initiative have created a “Restaurant Workers Relief Fund” and has even gone as far as pairing up with Maker’s Mark to offer a “relief kitchen”. This set-up allows laid-off restaurant workers to come and pick up a hot meal and a bag of groceries. At this time in the industry, it’s all about what we can do for one another and how we can make it all through it together.
And at MenuCalc we are committed to you and your business during this Covid-19 outbreak. We want you to have all the tools you need to operate without restriction. As a result, we have put together an entirely free plan that you can take advantage of for 30 days to support your food business. This plan provides free recipe entry, nutrient analytics, analysis assistance, error and allergen flagging and built-in FDA compliance checkpoints.