Everything had changed after March 2020. The restaurant’s safety standards were carried out “behind the scenes,” and diners were unlikely to care about the cleanliness of increased surfaces. Alternatively, if they were seated within 6 feet of other tables. A yearly audit was the standard for many brands, and employees may have been more concerned with not “getting busted” or “getting a decent score” than with creating culture. Many operators depended on gut sense to make judgments via restaurant management software. Since they lacked a full perspective of their data. Everything has changed in recent years.
The COVID-19 pandemic has caused the most disruption in the restaurant industry’s history. Restaurants have been unable to operate “normally” during the pandemic’s peak and many worries if our business will ever return to “normal.” These five things, I think, have been irrevocably changed:
1. Transparency Is Required
Prior to the epidemic, restaurant operators focused on “behind the scenes” safety requirements, and customers did not give much thought to restaurant operations. Customers now demand transparency in terms of safety & cleanliness. In addition, they expect to see personnel washing surfaces, applying hand sanitizer, or adhering to other post-COVID measures. Employees also want to know that their employers are doing everything necessary to keep them protected in our new baseline, particularly masking and social separation during COVID surges.
Aside from increased safety transparency, many firms are improving data transparency in order to improve various aspects of their operations. Brands that use digital tools & restaurant management system get more accurate, comprehensive perspectives of data. They can use this data to increase efficiency, reduce expenses, plan more effectively, and make well-informed operational decisions.
2. Culture Has Been Increasingly Collaborative
The yearly or semi-annual 3rd party inspections used to terrify many restaurant personnel. They were wary of independent auditors, fearful of being held accountable for any infractions discovered during an examination. The auditors looked for violations but did not assist teams in correcting non-compliance or educating them on risk mitigation. Employees felt devalued and disengaged because of the exercise, which felt punitive.
Due to travel limitations during the epidemic, eateries had to devise innovative means to examine their facilities. As a result, staff has to work together to identify (and correct) problems and enhance compliance. Employees began taking on new responsibilities and learning further about safety procedures. This resulted in a new, collaborative approach that empowered employees by making them feel accountable for the success of their restaurants rather than blaming them for errors. Employee happiness, loyalty, and retention are all boosted by a culture that emphasizes teamwork and collaboration, which is a huge plus in a time of workforce shortages and record-breaking resignations.
3. More and More Businesses Are Relying On Technology
Restaurants have traditionally been slow to adopt the technology. Instead of relying on manual processes, paper checklists, or Excel tables to keep track of crucial data. These out-of-date techniques have a slew of serious flaws. For one thing, using paper files makes it impossible to acquire an accurate, thorough, real-time perspective. Fortunately, an increasing percentage of corporates are increasingly employing technology and restaurant software to review and analyze data in order to make better judgments.
Technology can help enhance processes ranging from staffing to ordering by displaying historical sales patterns. In comparison to manual operations, digital inspections, inventories, and line checks are faster, easier, and more accurate. Additionally, technological tools can assist operators in identifying trends and rapidly resolving any concerns. Brands can use digital solutions to streamline processes, improve quality and safety management, manage (or reduce) expenses, and optimize inventory, budgeting, and ordering.
4. Restaurants Evaluate in a Variety of Ways
It turns out that relying solely on traditional, in-person inspections was not the best strategy. Employees feared these inspections, as previously stated. Another major issue is that typical audits need only a picture of compliance at a specific point in time.
Due to the pandemic, several restaurants began doing self-inspections including remote audits on a regular basis, while typical onsite audits were put on hold. This hybrid method has a number of advantages, including increased oversight and data collecting. Issues are identified (and rectified) more quickly with more regular inspections than they would have been with a yearly audit alone.
Employees connect with auditors via remote audits, allowing them to pose questions, receive instant feedback, and gain a better understanding of the process. Employees are more engaged, competent, and empowered to address problems and identify difficulties during self-assessments and daily shifts as a result. Giving employees more responsibility for safety and quality is a long-term development that the industry must embrace.
5. What We Do and How We Do It
Some eateries were able to survive the epidemic by switching to a new business strategy. Many restaurants, for example, started offering or growing takeout & delivery services. Others provided curbside pickup and/or drive-thru service. Some businesses switched from full-service, fine dining restaurants to ghost kitchens, devoting more space, attention, and people to back-of-house operations in order to expand their take-out and delivery options. Operators must remain adaptable as COVID situations continue to rise and new versions arise. We are unlikely to limit ourselves to dine-in options again, so it is a good idea to broaden your menu. Your ability to adapt, innovate, and be creative will be critical to your ongoing success.
With quarantines, new standards, supply chain problems, inflation, and continuous staffing shortages, COVID has tossed us a curveball after changeup. However, some of the modifications, such as the ones listed above, are good. In the face of numerous challenges, the restaurant sector has remained resilient, shifting to new business models. Embracing new auditing methods, investing in game-changing technological solutions, adopting hotel and restaurant order management system, becoming much more collaborative, and increasing much-needed openness. Finally, we do have wonderful new developments to rejoice over.