As we enter the third year of the Covid-19 pandemic, the restaurant industry continues to be buffeted by waves of uncertainty and turmoil. For restaurant owners, the prospect of a global recession in 2023 is one of the many challenges the industry faces in the coming year. Yet despite what challenges may lie ahead, previous recessions have given us an idea of what restaurants can expect during an economic downturn. Most importantly, there are certain strategies that restaurant owners can implement in order to minimize the economic impact and allow them to bounce back and continue to thrive in the industry. In this blog, we cover 5 ways you can prepare your restaurant for any economic downturns that might occur in the upcoming year.
Utilize technology and automation
In the face of a looming recession, utilizing new technologies is one of the best ways for restaurant owners to improve efficiency, increase productivity and reduce costs. Restaurant technology involves a wide range of digitization options, including self-ordering kiosks, POS systems, software for inventory management and mobile apps.
According to a ”Global State of the Hospitality Industry” report from Lightspeed, 50% of U.S. food service operators plan to adopt automation technology in the next two to three years to fill labor gaps. A further 87% of operators, owners, or managers believe that technology adoption has been key to business survival amidst the economic turmoil caused by the pandemic. While entering the unknown in 2023 may be nerve-wracking for many restaurant owners, adopting sophisticated technologies might just be the key to staying ahead of your competitors. With INFI self-ordering kiosks, you can expect all of the innovative features you will need to boost efficiency, lower costs, and even navigate the uncertainty in 2023. Here are six powerful ways that INFI's innovative restaurant kiosks can help small businesses and large chains:
Enhances restaurant operations overall
Makes ordering online easy
Allows you to optimize your menu
Keeps labor costs down
Provides valuable customer data
Improves the customer experience
Streamline your pricing and increase efficiency
The best way to combat an economic downturn is to stay ahead of the curve. You can't stop an economic downturn, but you can ensure that your restaurant is prepared to weather it. The first step to streamlining your restaurant is examining the current profit and loss statement. From adjusting your menus to investing in technologies that reduce expenses, there are various ways you can ensure your restaurant is prepared. One of the best ways to fight a recession as a restaurateur is being flexible with pricing. During a recession, people are more likely to be cost-conscious when eating out. Therefore, it's essential that you have a diverse menu with a variety of price points to accommodate all types of consumers.
Hire the right people
Labor cost has always been one of the largest expenses when it comes to restaurants. Since the pandemic started, the labor market has changed dramatically, with many restaurants being understaffed. Therefore, it is important to hire the right people for your restaurant, especially during an economic downturn. Instead of focusing on the quantity of the staff, restaurant owners should shift their focus to the quality of the staff. In order to recruit the right employees, it is also essential that restaurant owners establish a process to attract, train, and retain the best staff. In doing so, it will be easier to control the overall operational costs of the restaurant.
Get creative with marketing efforts
Whether you are a new restaurant or a time-honored restaurant that has been in the food industry for generations, marketing is a crucial factor in helping a restaurant to succeed. A great restaurant marketing plan will not only help you to find new customers, expand your community, but also make regulars out of your drop-in guests.
Here are some low budget restaurant marketing ideas you can consider for your restaurant:
Organic social media: Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok are some great platforms to start with if you want to start posting for your restaurant. No matter how new or old your restaurant is, if you can take advantage of social media, you will be able to gain exposure to your restaurants and potentially new customers. If you want to step up your game a little bit, you can also consider paid social which will help you reach more accounts and you can even customize your preferences on target audiences.
Website and search optimization: Updating your Google My Business profile, including specific keywords on your website, and prominently displaying your hours, location, menu and online ordering platform on your website and google profile are all easy and free ways to up your online presence.
Email marketing: While not completely free, email marketing is an inexpensive and incredibly impactful way to reach and engage with your audience.
Influencer marketing: With the rise of social media, influencer marketing has been one of the most effective tactics to attract new customers to your restaurant. Based on the budget you have, you can either reach out to influencer marketing agency or local food influencers, there are always the right options for you
Develop your own mobile app
Instead of relying on costly third party partnerships, have you ever thought about developing your own mobile app? As reported by Yahoo! Finance, restaurants have had to grapple with high costs associated with delivery service providers, with platforms like Ubereats, Grubhub and Doordash charging high commission fees, while Chowhound charges restaurants a flat monthly fee to access its online delivery software. Consumers have also expressed a preference for ordering directly from the restaurant versus a third-party app, which provides restaurants with further incentive to facilitate their own online ordering channels via technological investment. In the long run, both diners and operators can save money through native channel orders, though restaurants are likely to increase delivery menu prices to make the channel more lucrative as off-premise demand holds steady.
Restaurant owners and operators looking to set up their own delivery channels and stop relying on third party providers can use INFI’s industry-leading POS solution, which can help:
Create a well-polished app for your website that allows customers to place orders directly from the app.
Empower you to access new markets and generate more sales
Enable your restaurant to offer online ordering without signing away a substantial percentage of its profits.
Enhance your restaurant operations with INFI
If you would like to leverage the power of automation in order to position your restaurant for success no matter what the global economy throws your way, there are plenty of excellent reasons to choose INFI's industry-leading self-ordering kiosks.
With INFI kiosks, you can look forward to all of the innovative features you will need to boost efficiency, lower costs, and reach new markets. This includes customizable menu options with the ability to build in upsell opportunities, a user-friendly app for online ordering, the ability to accept a broad range of payment options, and much more.
At INFI, we are proud to partner with fast-casual and quick-service restaurants across the country to help them streamline their restaurant operations, lower labor costs, and improve customer experience. If you would like to see how INFI kiosks can help your restaurant thrive during these challenging times, sign up for a free INFI demo now!