How to Manage Your Food and Beverage Business During COVID-19

Social distancing orders across Ireland have pushed food and beverage businesses to make difficult decisions about if and how they operate. From coffee shops and food trucks to Michelin-star restaurants, many are adapting their models to best serve their communities and their employees.

We’ve compiled a few restaurant management tips — whether you’re still serving or you’re closed and need to maintain cash flow — as well as industry resources to help manage your business right now.

If you’re looking to shift your business model

Ramp up click and collect and delivery

One of the first restaurant management tips that you may have considered is shifting to click and collect and deliveries to continue serving. If you’ve never provided those options before, there are a couple of ways to set them up: You can work with other click and collect and delivery partners, or you can quickly create an online ordering page and then enable collection or local delivery.

Create meal kits to sell online

Many people are now working from home, feeding their kids every meal, and trying to avoid crowded supermarkets. So why not make it a little easier for them by creating meal kits? You can post about meal kits for collection or delivery on your Instagram, or include it in an email to customers. The fastest way to get started is to offer meal kits through an online store.

Become a corner shop

Sell what you have in stock — and not just prepared items. During the pandemic, people waited in queues at the supermarket for items such as flour, eggs, and toilet paper. Many businesses saw an opportunity to sell from their own supply via an online store.

Serve drinks to go

Fortunately, the Government has allowed pubs to operate as hot food takeaways. While there is pressure for pubs and breweries to allow off-premise alcohol sales, nothing has been confirmed yet. Check with your local authorities for temporary rule adjustments during this time.

Market what you have

Things have changed, and they have done so quickly. Send your customers an email (and use whatever social media you use most) to let them know what you’re still serving and when or if there are other ways they can support your business and employees.

Accept Contactless Payments

Now more than ever it’s important to be able to accept contactless payments such as contactless cards, Apple Pay, and Google Pay in order to reduce contact with customers. If you’re not already using a card machine, think about using Square Reader or Square Terminal to accept contactless payments.

If you’re closed until further notice

Promote digital gift cards

Online gift cards can help increase cash flow while your business is closed. You can quickly set up an online ordering page for eGift cards and then promote them to your loyal customers — who want to show their support.

Create a donations page

It’s hard to ask for help, but we need to come together as a community now more than ever. You can create a donation page on your website or online store to ask your neighbours and regulars for assistance.

Sell merchandise online

If you have T-shirts, mugs, tote bags, or other merch, encourage people to buy them now when you need the revenue most. You can sell online via an online store, email, or social media. Learn how to start selling online.

Support your staff

Many restaurateurs face impossible decisions surrounding how to manage a restaurant and lay off staff. We’ve compiled resources for employers that can assist you in navigating those decisions.