The restaurant business is at the very top of industries famous for having tight margins. Everybody knows it’s hard to run a restaurant, and that many folds within the first year or two of opening.

COVID-19 has only made this already difficult situation harder. How could restaurants not suffer when they were forced to reduce indoor seating by 50% or temporarily stay closed? However, the stats and figures about the restaurant industry’s recovery show some encouraging signs.

New channels like takeout and delivery are soaring, with a 40% increase in delivery-related shifts scheduled since March. Restaurants need to think creatively and plan for safety while finding new ways to get delicious food to their customers.

Technology to the Rescue

Efficiency is all about finding more effective ways to get the same level of service or better. Technology can automate processes in restaurants and do them faster and better than would otherwise be possible.

You can save your restaurants thousands of dollars with employee scheduling software that cuts down the time it takes to make schedules by up to 80%. Managers and owners need their employees focused on tasks that count, like cooking and serving food and drinks to customers.

Wasting time figuring out who can work when is not the best use of anyone’s time on the job. Employee scheduling software also provides comprehensive data about everything in your restaurant, from sales to labor costs and more. Finally, it even acts as an intuitive communication tool, saving your employees more time.

Apps Create New Avenues

Some restaurants cook food that is very well-suited to delivery because it travels well, and even fine dining establishments have adapted their operations to align with the new conditions. However, not every small- or medium-sized restaurant has the infrastructure to create their own delivery service.

Ride-share companies have enabled smaller restaurants to, essentially, outsource their deliveries. They can focus on creating the food and hand off the logistics of delivery elsewhere.

Alternative Ways to Eat at Street Level

Innovation at the street level lets restaurants directly connect to their customers in a way that is safe for COVID-19. Street cooking may not be possible for all restaurants, depending on the type of kitchen they have and the food they produce, but selling food on the curb just outside your restaurant has been a recipe for success.

This works incredibly well with slow-cooked BBQ joints, where meat like chicken, brisket, and pulled pork can be used for sandwiches. But any restaurant is free to take this approach and adapt it for their purposes.

Meal kits, contact-free pickup, and other innovations allow customers to get the food they crave.

Restaurants are showing positive signs of recovery, but the gains can be undone if the COVID-19 numbers rise again. Hopefully, everybody will continue to use precautions to reduce its spread! But right now, running an efficient restaurant has never been more important.