Restaurants across the country have been forced to close their doors to dine-in customers due to the spread of Covid-19, and are looking for ways to stay afloat during this time. Many operators have turned their focus to traditional methods, but some are thinking outside of the box on ways to continue making money.
Delivery and Takeout
With 90% of the country on ‘stay at home’ orders and most restaurants closed for dine-in service, delivery and takeout are becoming the new normal for restaurants. Services like GrubHub, Uber Eats and DoorDash allow you to register your restaurant or bar for delivery services, and provide a safe way for customers to get the food they want and need.
A coalition of national restaurants started a campaign called The Great American Takeout that ask anyone who can to order at least one delivery or takeout meal from a local restaurant. Participating in this campaign shows support for the struggling restaurant industry. Those who participate are encouraged to share their orders on social media with the hashtag #thegreatamericantakeout. The first event took place on Tuesday, March 24th and the campaign is expected to continue every Tuesday during the pandemic.
Grocery giant, HEB, recently announced that they would partner with local restaurants to make grab and go meals for their Meal Simple program. In an effort to support the restaurants, HEB won’t take any portion of the sales and will pay the restaurants for the food that is prepared.
Restaurants are also partnering together is hopes of successful cross promotion. Many are offering limited time only meal packages with a main dish from one restaurant and dessert from the other, and other specialty combinations for upcoming holidays.
Pop-Up Markets and Prep-Kits
Many restaurants and bars are taking the opportunity to provide grocery items, produce, pantry staples, and meats to the public. These pop-up markets provide an additional source of revenue for businesses and are a way to use their surplus of supplies. Restaurants are becoming a one-stop-shop for customers.
Customers are also able to bring the restaurant home. Ready to grill meats, produce boxes, and cocktail kits are just some of the unique offerings from restaurants.
GoFundme, Grants and Gift Cards
Restaurants are turning to GoFundMe and fundraisers to raise funds for their furloughed staff and offset the loss of profits during this time. From text campaigns to bake sales, restaurants are asking the public to contribute in any way they can.
Restaurants are paying it forward by collecting donations to make meals for healthcare workers who are unable to leave their facilities. The donations allow restaurants to pay their staff to make meals, directly benefit healthcare workers, and provide a tax deduction to those who are able to donate.
Some companies, nonprofits, and grassroots organizations are forming grants and campaigns that allows consumers to donate directly to a restaurant. For a list of relief funds, visit Eater.
Restaurants are asking their customers to purchase gift cards to use at a later date. This provides instant cash flow to get them through this tough time. Many are offering promotions like a free meal with the purchase of a gift card or buy one get one types of deals.
For more updates and resources during this time, visit www.weingarten.com/covid-19_coronavirus/.