This is an unprecedented time for the hospitality industry, and I've been talking to a lot of people in different areas: associations, restaurants, food distributors, restaurant vendors, POS dealers and more who are all making massive adjustments in their operations.
There is no single answer to how to move forward. But I'm seeing some great examples of innovation and ingenuity. Below are a bunch of examples for you to consider along with some resources.
Okeechobee Steakhouse: This top-of-the-line fine dining steakhouse is open for business in their retail shop where they sell their meat products, wine and prepared to-go items. Ralph Lewis, operator extraordinaire takes you on a tour of his shop in this Facebook post below. They're also offering BBQ in their parking lot.
Oceans 234 is another independent operator out of Florida, and they're providing grocery delivery.
Another entrepreneur, Sandy Korem, has been through a few food and economic crises, and built a diverse business model, which includes two retail shops that provide prepared meals to go. Food is flying off of her shelves at the moment.
These are three independent operators who are doing their best to keep their doors open, fill a need for their customers and employees and their community.
No matter what you're doing to continue to serve, be sure to share it with your audiences - emails, social media, signs, etc. Ask your employees to share it. Ask your family to share it.
The last week I've participated in several webinars that were offering free advice for independent restaurant owners.
New York State Restaurant Association Webinar from Monday
This link will take you to a page that asks you to register to watch the webinar. It does not require any payment. We covered a lot of information about your immediate business obligations, tips for staying open and suggestions for managing your cash on hand.
The Largo Group, Cash Flow Management Series
Anne Gannon, CPA and owner of The Largo Group, is offering a FREE four-week series, which started March 18. She invited me to join in on these sessions to provide advice for operations. If you sign up, you'll receive all the replays, access to a community and my Budget Builder MVP spreadsheet. You can sign up to participate at this link. The next session is March 25.
South Carolina Restaurant and Lodging Association
This webinar covers content specific to South Carolina restaurants and businesses, but there is still a lot of great information here for restaurants looking for answers to keeping their doors open and making decisions going forward.
I'm also participating in two more webinars the week of March 23 and will share info about those as it is available.
I provided a summary of things to consider and actions to take in this article as well.
No one knows where this is going but the examples I've shared here are inspiring and encouraging. I hope sharing this with you gives you some hope and inspires you.
I cover Restaurant 101, putting systems in place and more in my book. Order your copy of Restaurant Prosperity Formula: What Successful Restaurateurs Do here.
You can also complete a free restaurant evaluation.
Be sure to visit my YouTube channel for more helpful restaurant management video tips.
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