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Here is what restaurant owners are thinking but not saying to their patrons along with a few easy ways customers can help local restaurants thrive during these difficult times.
The effects of the COVID-19 pandemic are still being felt by the hard-hit restaurant industry. As restaurants continue to get back on their feet, there are some lasting challenges that are still weighing heavily on the minds of restaurant owners across the country. Here is what restaurant owners are thinking but not saying to their patrons along with a few easy ways customers can help local restaurants thrive during these difficult times.
“We’re short staffed.”
The restaurant industry continues to face major labor shortages. Restaurant owners are struggling to find, train, and retain enough staff members to keep things running smoothly. Recent data shows that the industry is still nearly 1M jobs (8%) below pre-pandemic employment levels. While the labor shortage is not likely to resolve itself overnight, restaurant owners can do their part by ensuring patrons are greeted with a smile and keeping them informed if there’s a longer wait than they were used to pre-pandemic. A little communication goes a long way.
“Food costs are skyrocketing.”
Between product shortages, pandemic shutdowns, and supply chain issues, food costs are skyrocketing. This is forcing restaurants to raise prices or drop expensive items like lobster or certain cuts of meat off the menu. On top of the rising costs of food items, many suppliers are delivering incomplete orders due to product unavailability. When guests come in and can’t get their favorite dish, or the price increased by 10%, restaurant workers are often met with hostility.
“We’re trying to adapt.”
With ever-changing mandates, new customer preferences, and supply shortages, restaurant owners must be flexible and try to adapt. With so many consumers ordering take-out and the constantly fluctuating demand, many places have tweaked their menus to offer less items and to offer new dishes that travel well. Smaller menus help restaurants from having to keep too many diverse ingredients on hand.
“We’re worried that new variants could affect our recovery.”
A National Restaurant Association survey of 1,000 adults in August 2021 revealed that 6 in 10 adults changed their dining behavior due to the rise in the delta variant. 37% said they ordered delivery or takeout instead of dining in a restaurant. The looming effects of the delta variant or possible surge make it tricky to determine staffing needs or the correct amount of menu ingredients to order.
Here’s how customers can help your favorite restaurants:
The cooks, servers, maître d’s, and bus staff are likely working their hardest to serve you. Go out to eat with an extra helping of patience.
While you may love the convenience of food delivery services such as Uber Eats, DoorDash, or Seamless, ordering directly from the restaurant saves you money and helps them keep a larger percentage of the profit.
Tipping your server in cash allows them to get the money right away and avoid the credit card processing fee.
Orders from suppliers are arriving incomplete and without some key ingredients that restaurants need. If you can’t get your usual, try something new…hey, you might like it!
Recipe for success
SBG understands a successful restaurant depends on far more than wonderful food and a fantastic team. It’s often led by customers spending patterns and that’s where we can help your business grow. Restaurant business financing helps keep up with the constantly changing market. It also gives you the opportunity to hire and train staff, cover increasing food costs, or purchase a new POS system.
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