Restaurants were not designed to survive at a limited capacity.

Sure, every restaurant has slower dayparts. That’s all part of the game. Some nights are busy and others are slow. There are ways to counteract that to an extent, but at least you’re not deliberately being limited by factors outside of your control.

According to a report from the National Restaurant Association, the average profit margin for restaurants ranges from 2% to 6%. And that’s pre-tax.

Right now, if you’re running a restaurant, it’s not just about maintaining profitability. It’s about staying open. Getting past the New Normal and arriving back at something that hopefully resembles the old one. Here’s four keys for restaurants to survive at a limited capacity.

Takeout. If your restaurant has survived the past several months, I have little doubt that you’ve placed a heavy emphasis on at-home dining. When restaurants were closed completely, there was no other option. Now, as reopenings continue, we’re faced with two issues affecting the number of customers in your restaurant. Limited capacity and diner avoidance. For the most part, these are two things you can’t really control. And that’s why takeout will continue to be so relevant.

As long as there is an ongoing pandemic, whether government regulations change, customer attitudes change, or something else we might not have anticipated happens, takeout needs to be a core part of your business model. There’s simply too much at stake.

Customer Loyalty. As restaurants continue to move forward, competition will continue to be fierce. Although many customers are trending toward wanting to dine out again, not everyone is so willing. As a result, customer loyalty is more important than ever before. Catering to your loyal customers will help your restaurant maintain a more reliable source of income. And in uncertain times, reliability is priceless.

An Efficient Menu. With the food supply chain in flux, there’s a lot for restaurants to worry about when it comes to planning out their menu. For example, Restaurant Business reports that prices for beef and seafood have risen dramatically, leaving restaurants with no choice but to weigh the inflated cost of food they may need.

When it comes down to it, a fiercely efficient menu may be what your restaurant needs to stay profitable. If your menu has to be cut down, your menu has to be cut down. But do it creatively and do it intelligently. Don’t be afraid to evaluate alternatives as your menu continues to develop.

Be Smart. As I’ve already mentioned, you need to be prepared for anything. “These unprecedented times” isn’t just another piece of marketing jargon. It’s true. We are literally in unprecedented times. Being prepared for what you can’t expect is how you’ll stay in business. At the end of the day, you need to be smart and stay responsive.

Thrive With CoGoBuzz

With CoGoBuzz, we’re here to help your restaurant succeed. Our state-of-the-art digital marketing service can help your restaurant build and maintain a strong base of loyal customers, which will ultimately help your restaurant survive.

Our service directly promotes your services to customer mobile devices. Leveraging advanced WiFi, SMS, and Email solutions, CoGoBuzz promotes your restaurant both in-store and out. It comes packed with a fully digital, text-based loyalty program, allowing you to let your customers know what services you’re offering – all with just a simple text. Click here to learn more about CoGoBuzz.

Whether you’re one of our current customers, or you’re interested in joining the CoGoBuzz family, we’re committed to helping businesses affected by COVID-19.

For current customers, we’re providing free text message service, allowing you to send a link to order online, purchase gift cards, and/or notify customers of new hours.

For new customers, we’re offering our hardware at cost, donating our services, time, and covering shipping costs. Prepare for the future with CoGoWiFi Free to collect your customers’ phone numbers. There are no contracts or monthly fees, and we offer unlimited customer data storage.

Message from our CEO

“From pricing to packaging, our mission has always been to provide customers with unbeatable value. That’s why, in response to the coronavirus pandemic, we are seeking to provide the most aggressive offers to help suffering restaurants survive. We believe that half of small restaurants will fail in the year after operations return to normal. The restaurants that survive and thrive will be the ones that win loyalty and focus on bringing customers back over the following year.”

– Steve Gould, CEO

Click here for more details on how we’re handling the crisis.

What is your restaurant doing to maintain business? Let us know in the comments.