The outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic took a toll on everyone from the leading nations to global businesses and more. However, now that people have been vaccinated and the impact of the virus is minimised, people have started travelling more frequently. That does not mean that we can fully ignore its danger, but follow safety protocols.
Similar is the case with restaurant businesses. To keep people safe and secure and yet run their businesses, restaurants need to ensure a proper transition and design architecture that will help them offer their services safely.
Many steps have already been taken in this direction. You might have noticed that several restaurants have started to place orders via QR code, making use of robots to serve the food, or providing outdoor dining options. All these changes contribute to the need for a desired architectural change in restaurants.
Though some of the changes might be temporary, many of them will stay for a long time. In this blog, we will discuss the impact of Covid-19 on restaurant businesses and the required architectural and equipment changes restaurants need to adhere to for their business growth.
Rise of sales of Restaurant during COVID-19 Lockdowns in Australia
Restaurants usually measure their profits by determining three major parameters: food, labour, and real-estate costs. As the lockdown started happening everywhere in the country, huge stress arose for the owners as they were worried about the sales of their food and the costs of labour and space that they had to bear.
Though the sudden closure of restaurants due to the lockdown caused havoc among restaurant owners, the impact on most restaurant businesses was minimal. To your surprise, the sales of restaurants during the lockdown period boomed.
As per the statistics provided by the Government of Australia, the monthly turnover of cafes, restaurants and takeaway food services grew up by 12.3% during the lockdown period. This became possible due to the rise of delivery services that came as a saviour for the existential threat of restaurants.
Not only did the delivery services save the restaurants from dooming but they have also created a new sales channel that has helped their business grow exponentially in the previous two years.
The Decline of Dine-In & Labour Cost
Another factor contributing to the surged growth of restaurant businesses during the lockdown period was a decline in dine-in and labour costs. Where delivery services helped in the survival of restaurants, a large impact was put on the people working in the restaurants, such as waiters, managers, etc.
As the only departments that were running the businesses were kitchen and food delivery services, many restaurants levied the services of their staff. This saved the restaurants additional salary costs, saving more from their business operations.
The statistics provided by Mckinsey suggest that restaurants save up to 7.3% on labour costs from the earnings made by the customer payment. When that is the case and the trend of food home deliveries is rising, businesses will try to minimise the need for labour so that they can attract higher profits.
Rise of Take-Away, Deliveries & Online Platforms
One industry that benefitted big time from the Covid-19 lockdown is the food delivery sector. The number of food delivery businesses instantly multiplied during the lockdown as it was the only service that was helping people reach food safely at their homes.
The The global food delivery industry stands at €83 billion and its market share is consistently growing every day. Due to the lockdown, numerous customers who weren’t accustomed to online shopping methods learned to leverage digital devices for shopping online.
The simple and efficient experience of ordering online increased the number of users on online platforms. So whether it is because of the global pandemic or better awareness of the use of digital devices, the delivery services are enjoying greater business worldwide.
Restaurant space wastage during lockdowns with empty tables & seating’s
A major reason for the fall of various restaurants during the pandemic was the hefty real estate rentals of those restaurants. As dine-in customers were extremely low in number, most restaurants faced space wastage issues.
All the tables and seatings went empty, and the businesses were solely running on the kitchen. However, the restaurant owners had to pay full rentals to their landlords besides having no usage of space at all. Now that the pandemic is normalised, people have started returning to restaurants.
Still, a substantial number of people prefer ordering at home and not exposing themselves to the outer world. This change in consumer behaviour has made restaurants reconsider their architectural design and create a place that delivers more efficiency and lowers operational costs.
Balancing the Growth of Deliveries, Takeaways with in-Store Dining
There is no denying that restaurants have earned a good share of the money from online delivery sales. But in the long term, is this model really sustainable?
Some services completely deny providing online deliveries, and others have gotten so much into the online delivery service that they are diminishing their dine-in business. Businesses need to understand the changing consumer behaviour and what consumers want from their services.
It is extremely important that restaurant businesses comprehend the emerging trends and create a model that balances the growth of deliveries alongside in-store dining business.
Changing of Customer Behaviour and Fueling the Growth of Food Delivery
The biggest impact that Covid-19 has had on people is that it has significantly changed consumer behaviour. As opposed to traditional days, where most of the population relied on having their meals in the restaurant, people now feel more convenient to order food into their homes.
We have to give the credit to digital devices and platforms to make this a reality. Before the pandemic, a majority of adults did not wish to use digital platforms for their basic needs.
However, due to the lack of any other option in the pandemic, they learned to use digital devices. Surprisingly, the ease and convenience to order at home make people realise that ordering in is a much better alternative than going to a restaurant.
Hence, the food delivery sector is now pacing at a much higher rate and will continue its growth in the coming years and decades.
Rethink Restaurant Design Layout:
To overcome the challenges of running a successful restaurant business, the most appropriate way is to reconsider your restaurant design layout to run your operations in profit. Here are a few ways of doing so:
Contact-free Robots to meet the shortage of workers:
The crunch for long-term labour in restaurants is still quite high in most parts of Australia. To overcome this challenge, various IT organisations have built contact-free robots for the kitchen to streamline restaurant operations to provide better efficiency.
The designed robots can work as a helping hand in the kitchen and do specific duties that involve repetition of the task. These contact-free robots are surely the future labours, and restaurants must utilise them to save labour costs and bring efficiency to their system.
Drive-through and pickup lanes with balanced seating arrangements
Drive-through and pickup lanes have always been reliable sources of getting food when you are in a rush. However, this trend needs more implementation by a majority of restaurants to avoid crowding the premises of restaurants. The restaurants can encourage balanced seating and provide food to people wishing to eat from their food service.
Reinvent the menu
Reinventing your restaurant menu can change your restaurant’s growth projection. As we discussed, consumer behaviour and eating styles are changing and evolving. Therefore, you need to consider these factors and monitor the latest food trends. Pandemic has made people realise the need for eating healthy and organic food. Hence, you must reinvent your menu or add items that more people can enjoy in your restaurant.
Upgrade Commercial Kitchen Equipments:
The right commercial kitchen equipment usage can transform your restaurant for good. A commercial kitchen usually requires a range of equipment from stainless steel benches to cookware to diner plates.
Now that the trends are changing, it is crucial that your restaurant must also upgrade its equipment and design a cost-efficient kitchen that takes the least amount of operational cost.
Britex is one of Australia’s largest kitchen equipment suppliers and has all equipment from stainless steel sinks, stainless steel benches to cooking stations that can help you create a perfect kitchen for profitable operations.