In this time of crisis, it is critical for us to share some best practices to help ensure that we come through this stronger than before and continue to create lasting careers for our employees in the hospitality industry. We hope that this would serve you and your business in this time of need.

1.Build your company's digital ordering infrastructure now

Making any type of capital expenditure is counterintuitive during this time where cash flow is vital for survival now; however this investment can be inexpensive and be able to create a significant impact on your business’s ability to compete within the next 18-24 months. Consumer’s demand for digital ordering with pick up or delivery options has been increasing for the past 10 years and it’s not going anywhere anytime soon. There are multitude of startup app developers that will rapidly build and launch a branded mobile app for you; so take this opportunity to start.

We are here to help you, so call us or WhatsApp us today at +6018 - 9722 620 to start exploring your options and find out what’s best for your business.

Frank Laurent Coffee Roasters from Penang offering takeaway promotions on their website.

2. Incorporate safety guidance & protocols and standardize them throughout your shops/locations.

Food Safety & Quality Division (FSQD) was established by MOH to ensure that the food processing activities are in compliance to the hygiene and safety requirements. The FSQD is also responsible for overseeing food safety through the supply chain. Therefore, how your restaurant is adhering to the regulations for food safety accordingly and incorporating the changes in effect of the pandemic will shape the customer's view of your brand’s safety and level of social responsibility. 

The top changes to safety practices which is already practised in China (after they have opened up after quarantine) will include the regular deployment of face masks to your staff, social distancing dots to ensure correct levels of distancing between customers, sufficient spacing between tables to ensure 6ft distance for dine-in guests or set up clear plexiglass boards next as separators to table seatings and increased usage of disinfectant on high touch areas of your restaurants. Besides that, having a log book for the customers in the case for future tracking reference is vital to break the chain of infection should it happen. Make sure these correct systems are in place to be consistently executed while monitoring operational adherence.

3. Create and adjust your product offerings to suit changing consumer’s needs

Take a look at your menu and identify the changes you could make in order to fit new consumer’s needs for drive throughs, pickups like lunch boxes or family packs for dining at home to cater to the new environment of where consumers could be reluctant to dine in or around others for a prolonged period of time after the MCO is lifted. If your operations allow it, you could also offer meal prep packs or ingredients like pre-mixed and packaged sauces so that customers could also have the option to purchase these items from your store.

These are DIY packs available for customers to purchase and cook at home.
Burger Meal kits available for customers to buy as a set to be prepared at home.
When the Burger Meal Kit was launched, they partnered with Inside Scoop to add a little more purchase incentive.

4. Plan marketing campaigns for your new revenue channels.

Due to dine-in prohibitions, many restaurants have adapted to curbside pickup, drive through and delivery options to help sustain their businesses. These new business models must be communicated to the public, the community and customers with a promotional launch to drive that message across. For example, in order to build awareness to the community for your new curbside pickup or drive through option, you could execute a fundraising campaign to support our “front liners” in the medical field by providing an option for customers to donate meals for every meal they order. Besides making sure your online presence is visible as it is launched, your physical store should be ready to display the same message via signages and lightings to inform anyone who passes by.

Image by @metinozer

5. Update and complete your operations document review & improvement plan

If your company does not have an operations review and improvement plan, this is the best time to start or to even update all the training documents, job aids, checklists, and recipes that are likely in need of sprucing up. Although it’s uncertain when movement prohibition is going to be lifted, having clean and updated ops docs will make the training and operations reactivation period much easier on your team.

6. Run cash flow and revenue forecasts and review your costs

It will look very different from here on out. Whatever you have planned for this year will have to be reviewed and adjusted to reflect the circumstances now. It is best to run low, mid and high cash flows for 25%, 50% and 75% of forecasted sales to understand your company's burn-rate and the unit economics of the different scenarios on the front-end to enable proper labor planning. There will also be greater pressure of occupancy and labour cost in the post COVID-19 lower sales environment. So looking through every aspect of your menu-pricing, packaging, portioning that could move the needle on your cost of goods sold will be very important as you prepare to reopen.

Image by @photoripey

7. Care for your employees.

Your staff is your greatest asset. So establish a routine communication during this time of uncertainty to not leave people out of the loop even if it's awkward and uncomfortable at first. Phone calls are better than emails. Prepare the points you want to convey and start dialling and commit to routine communication. Your employees will never forget it.

Image Credit: @creativegangster


Businesses that position to gain on the upswing when the quarantine is over, that’s when winners and losers will be determined. Studies also show that businesses that invested through the downturn gained 20% higher profitability after a downswing in market share,  longevity & brand awareness.

We all will look different after this. There is a prize on the other side of Coronavirus. People want great dining experience with restaurants and that’s the good news. We are not blindly optimistic about this however let's not waste the lessons we can learn from this. Becoming technologically savvy and testing and learning during this crisis is a great way to use this time we have now. 

Discover how you can learn about digital transformation and prepare for that upswing in the market when quarantine is lifted by setting up a Digital Loyalty Program (Branded Mobile App), E-wallet, online E-commerce store for pre-orders call or WhatsApp us at +6018 - 9722 620.