Restaurant Menu Ideas | The New Normal
In the wake of Covid-19, restaurants are going to look very different. As restaurants begin to reopen, it is crucial for their owners to take every possible precaution in order to safely reopen and rebound their business. It will take flexibility, creativity, and a lot of effort, but we have some put together a guide to help your restaurant prepare to reopen and recover from the destruction caused by the novel coronavirus.
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First and foremost, restaurants that are reopening their normal dine-in establishment will need to put their reusable menus aside and stock up on single-use disposable (and recyclable) menus. Not only will this method help stop the spread of the disease, it will put your customers at ease. The last thing you want your customers thinking while browsing your menu is “has this been properly sanitized?”
While the thought of purchasing a stockpile of disposable menus sounds financially daunting, it certainly doesn’t have to be. For example, at PrintingCenterUSA you can order 5000 11” x 17” full color half fold menus for as little as 14¢ each. The more you order, the cheaper the per-piece price will be. We offer trifold, bifold, z-fold, and other menu folding options, so you can get creative with the design. Multi-Page brochure booklets are also an affordable option if you have a larger menu.
5000 Qty | 8.5” x 11”
|5000 Qty | 11” x 17”
Full Color | Half Fold
As little as 14¢ each
When it comes to designing your menus, sometimes it’s best to leave it to a professional and get it done quickly and correctly. However, if you want to design your menus yourself, we do offer free downloadable menu templates for Adobe® programs that guide you on safety, trim, margins, fold lines, and mailing panels.
Mastering Delivery and Take-Out
Apps such as DoorDash and Uber Eats were already increasing in popularity before the Covid-19 pandemic, and now exponentially more so. Not all customers are going to be comfortable going out to dine-in, and this fear is likely indefinite. To stay competitive, restaurants are adding take-out and delivery options to their services.
Something you must keep in mind with offering these services is the portability of your menu items. Why? Because presentation matters. Negative reviews from customers about a delivery of a sloppy meal will quickly hurt your repeat business. Many restaurants are having to tweak their menu to include only the most portable items. Take-out menus are a great solution to keeping those customers that want to stay home informed about your delivery and take-out options. A trifold disposable menu can be easily slipped into a delivery bag.
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Maintain Social Distancing
As much as we all want to go back to normal, social distancing is going to be around for a long time and you must prepare to factor that into the way your restaurant operates. Here are a few actions your restaurant should be taking:
- Tables should be placed 6 feet apart
- Reduce your dining capacity so as to avoid overcrowding
- Put up posters, flyers and other signage to direct customers on how to safely navigate the restaurant
- Reduce points of contact such as direct cash payment as much as possible
While taking these steps to maintain social distancing, you must also do your best to make your restaurant approachable and welcoming. You don’t want your patrons to be second guessing their decision to dine-in due to seemingly scary precautions. For example, instead of taping off areas until the restaurant looks like a crime scene, rely on friendly signage and a well-informed staff to keep your customers informed.
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We all have our neighbor’s health in mind during this time. As a restaurant owner, actions that you take have a direct effect on the health of your community. With this in mind, it is important to base your actions and decisions on reliable information. Checking the following sites should be worked into your daily routine:
- The W.H.O.
- W.H.O. Myth Busters
- USA Government Response
- More from the CDC
- National Institutes of Health
- State & Local Government News
It is also important to share your business updates with your employees and customers. If your actions require employee training, you must quickly and clearly do so. Any necessary resources should be provided as well.
Being transparent with your customers through email newsletters, blog updates, or even by mailing flyers or postcards is also important. Customers want to know if you’re open, what has changed, and what precautions you are taking. There’s no need to sugar coat it, either! Now is the time to build trust with honesty and clarity.
Find Creative Solutions
With challenging problems come creative solutions. It is time to put your vision of “normal” aside and brainstorm what is going to ensure that your business perseveres. Aside from everything we have already discussed, what can your restaurant do to bring in revenue? What can your business do to aid the community? Here are some ideas being executed by businesses around the world to get your gears turning.
- Offering Contactless Delivery
This is definitely the new normal. However you are taking delivery orders, whether it’s online, through DoorDash, or over the phone, you must make it clear that this is an option. And your delivery drivers must understand what they are supposed to do.
- Cutting Operational Costs
Your employees are your biggest asset here. Ask every one of your employees provide a list of cost savings solutions and do the same yourself. You’d be surprised how much money you can free up. Start with monthly subscriptions that might have piled up. Then look where else you can trim the fat whether it’s a procedural bottleneck or a waste of resources such as electricity or products.
- Get Online (if you aren’t already)
Technology is your best friend. If your restaurant doesn’t have a website or app, maybe now is the time to make that happen. People are looking for you! If they can’t physically go to your restaurant, they should be able to know how to visit you online. There are a lot of cheap and user-friendly website creation options if your budget doesn’t allow for a big development project. Check out Squarespace or Wix to at least design a quick landing page for your restaurant!
- Take Donations for Covid-19 Relief
Many restaurants are asking their customers to round up their order to the nearest dollar to donate to Covid-19 Relief. Find an organization, local or federal, that you support, and you’d be surprised how giving people are willing to be at this time. Share your donation progress with the public on social media and your website to gain more traction and positive publicity as well.
There are fragrance companies that have started producing hand sanitizer and motor companies that are now producing ventilators. Times are crazy! Put your thinking cap on and look for opportunities for your business to fulfill a need caused by the pandemic, and don’t be afraid of a big idea.
There is no question that these are unprecedented times for your restaurant, but, with a lot of effort, your business could come out of this thriving with a larger customer base than ever! If printing menus, newsletters, postcards, etc are a part of your solution, give PrintingCetnerUSA a call at 800-995-1555 and let us help you.
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