The restaurant and hospitality industry is being uniquely hit by the economic halt resulting from the ongoing Coronavirus (COVID-19) disaster. Making certain adjustments now will give you the best chance to mitigate this unprecedented downturn in business, care for your service teams, and be on solid footing when it passes. A.C.E. your response by following the tips below:
1. Assess. Review your experience delivery model and determine where you can shift. Restaurants that rely solely on a dine-in model should make the shift to carryout if possible. Those already providing carry-out or delivery, emphasize these offerings. Review your staffing needs for providing these limited offerings and how best to resolve these workforce adjustments. Proactively review your lease or mortgage, food provider contracts, business insurance policies, and existing commercial loans to determine where pressures on your operation can be temporarily relieved. Stay informed about incoming Federal and State emergency relief programs, including tax filing and payment extensions.
2. Communicate. Your customer base knows there is a disruption but may not know your changes to continue serving them. Inform them through your customer communication channels and keep sales and revenue flowing. Your employees are scared and concerned so be upfront and help guide them to their next steps - the best business is one that continues to exist for them when this crises abates. Your vendors, lenders, and insurers need to hear from you to know what you need. As a business owner you've never been afraid of a "no", don't be now either - ask for the relief you need. Contact your professional service providers (attorney, accountant, banker, insurer) as they are likely staying abreast of these evolving developments and can help facilitate your best moves.
3. Execute. Don't wait - act now. The sooner you address these difficult business issues the clearer your picture moving forward will be and the better results you will see in dampening these impacts, even if incrementally for now. Engage your professional service providers to assist. Restaurants are an integral part of our communities and your impact is felt by everyone. You are likely to find reciprocal effort from your customers and business partners to help you see this challenge through.
About Inhulsen Law
John Inhulsen is a 3rd generation entrepreneur and business law attorney. Inhulsen Law is a boutique Michigan business law firm that actively advises multiple restaurant groups. To learn more, visit our website at www.inhulsenlaw.com, or contact us at 616.747.0000.