What can you do to help your café/restaurant survive the Covid 19 Virus?

What can you do to help your café/restaurant survive the Covid 19 Virus?

The golden rule of managing through a crisis is to plan for the worst and hope for the best.

If you are going to make changes to staffing levels, operating procedures and any other areas, remember that one deep cut is better than salami slicing (many small cuts).

No-one knows the full extent of what we will see in the next few months but taking decisive action early is key to putting yourself in the best position possible.

  1. Make sure you take all necessary precautions to keep yourself and your staff healthy. Any loss of staff may have a negative effect on your business.
  2. Ensure you have excellent written hygiene measures in place and on display to anyone in the premises. This will help increase their confidence and trust in your business.
  3. Communicate with your customers to show that you are being proactive.
  4. Up to date financials are essential to understand where you stand and to understand your cashflow position. On a simple basis, start with who owes you money and who you owe money to.
  5. What government assistance is available?
    1. Payroll tax-based support
    2. Jobseeker support
    3. Short term interest free loans with government backing for 50% of the loan
  6. How can you keep revenue coming in?
    1. If you operate a restaurant or café, then you will be reliant on takeaway for the next few months. There are many platforms such as UberEats etc who can help you market and deliver food on a takeaway basis.
    2. Consider free delivery for pensioners.
    3. If you have staff who are underemployed consider using them as delivery staff.
    4. If you have a database of clients, email them a special menu or offer to try your takeaway asap. If you have their mobile number maybe send them an SMS.
    5. Consider old fashioned marketing tactics.
      1. Flyers are cheap to print and you or your staff can distribute in your local neighbourhood and offer your food and delivery service. Use a local business to print them and preferably someone who uses your café/restaurant.
      2. Domino’s use the underemployed staff to wave signs at drivers. If it works for them…
      3. Always have an offer of the day. Cooking in bulk can help reduce costs and complexity
      4. Use Groupon to attract new takeaway business.
      5. Be the Hello Fresh of cooked food! Consider a weekly menu with a different meal each night so that people can decide to order for 3,4 or 5 nights. If you need great thermal delivery bags have a look at Iceepak, who supply the professionals in this space.
  1. How can you reduce outgoings?
  2. Talk to suppliers about produce which is abundant and cheaper than some ingredients that may not be and substitute where possible.
  3. If they are selling you takeaway packaging, can you get a discount?
  4. How can you reduce food waste or use potential waste to create new customers or create a positive story in the neighourhood
  5. Talk to your landlord. Tell them that your business is suffering and if he would consider a reduced rent during the period that Covid-19 has an effect. Potentially use the argument that if you can survive this period with their help that your business will comeback and be able to pay full rent sooner rather than later and that they will not suffer an period where the premises is empty.
  6. If you are part of a franchise group, let them know you are suffering and ask them to put a hold on any fees they charge on a monthly basis.
  7. The jobseekers support may enable you to reduce the hours of casual staff so that they can apply for the jobseeker award and receive the extra $550 per fortnight entitlement. This will help you and your staff.
  8. Consider to stop paying yourself and utilising the Jobseeker support for yourself. The government has taken away means testing and you may be able to access up to $1550 per fortnight.
  9. Are there any special skills, location or resources that you have that you could utilise to start addressing a need that arises due to the current situation?
    1. Do you offer food for special dietary requirements?  How can you target these populations?
    2. Is there an old people’s home in the area? Do they need some variety to break the boredom of their daily food regime. Is their kitchen fully functional or do they require external help?
    3. Is there a cheap wholesome meal you can make, such as a soup and roll/sandwich that people can collect for a quick lunch that utilises the food that may otherwise be perishable?


If you have any suggestions please feel free to comment below.