State of the industry today:
It goes without saying that the foodservice industry is feeling the effect of the coronavirus. With restrictions that only allow restaurants to serve customers via takeout, pickup, drive-thru, and delivery, the industry has seen a 74.2% YoY decline of average daily revenue from the same time period in 2019, according to Toast. There has also been a 40% decline in the total number of hours worked by food service employees.
A contributing factor to this is the decline in foot traffic to fast-food restaurants. Foursquare reported that foot traffic has declined greatly in the past few weeks, and especially since March 15th, which is when many major cities announced “shelter in place” lockdown.
Full-service vs Quick-service:
The entire industry is hurting, but when we break down further by restaurant type, we notice a trend. Fast food and quick-serve restaurants are showing slightly higher revenue than full-service restaurants. This is supported by a report from Yelp that fast food-related searches have increased by 64%.
With options like takeout/pickup ordering, delivery, and drive-thrus, many restaurants were prepared to pivot to the new, but necessary serving model. Another data point from Toast shows a 56% increase in off-premises dining revenue since February 14th.
Customers need encouragement:
The CDC states “...coronaviruses are generally thought to be spread from person-to-person through respiratory droplets. Currently, there is no evidence to support the transmission of COVID-19 associated with food.”
Even while experts like the CDC confirm that the virus cannot be spread through food, about 47% of people still feel nervous or at risk ordering and eating purchased food.
How you can adapt:
In an effort to keep staff and food sanitary, as well as help customers feel confident in the safety of their food, many brands have publicly adapted their operations. Below are some of these best practices to consider implementing.
Most of all, customers want to hear what actions your restaurant has taken to keep the employees and food safe. Below are some examples of restaurants (Brick and Ivy, Pammy's Cambridge) that have publicly informed their customers of precautionary measures taken, to ensure that they should feel safe while ordering from the establishment.
The Squadle system promotes sanitary food processes and compliance with healthy preventative practices, especially during this time. With tools to increase communication between your stores and employees, handwashing checks, and staying on top of your regular food safety needs, Squadle can help make it all a little more manageable. You can read more about how Squadle can help your operations during COVID-19 here.