Open and Run a Restaurant in this Pandemic: Here Are 4 Ideas

With the coronavirus raging on, does it still make sense to open a restaurant? The answer is yes. People will still want to eat and try out new things. But you need to tread lightly. Finding resources can be more challenging, and some people need more convincing to try what you’re offering.

If you’re still dreaming of opening one, here are a few ideas to help:

1. Consider a Franchise

Many people believe franchises are expensive, but you look at it at the value perspective:

  • You need not start a business from scratch.
  • Franchises are also stable. Think about the most popular food brands, and you’ll know that one of their common characteristics is longevity.
  • You get help from a team that already includes operations and marketing.

The best franchises also don’t accept applications immediately. They assess whether your proposal is viable. Not all franchises, though, are high-quality. Others are prone to failure for many reasons, including a lack of support. Others are expensive to sustain over the long-term.

That’s why you need to learn to compare offerings. Ask about Southern restaurant franchising cost, for example. Conduct due diligence and read reviews. Interview them about their franchising process and the support they offer, especially to new franchisees.

2. Go Hyperlocal

Usually, when a person wants to open a business, they go where the crowds are. For restaurants, these include tourist spots, big cities, business areas, and entertainment districts. The pandemic changes that since the trend is now hyperlocal.

A hyperlocal business is a company, such as a restaurant, that operates within a small community. Think of your neighborhood or town. Before, some people frown upon it since the target market is narrow. In other situations, it’s small.

However, Google data revealed that more people seem to prefer exploring the closest shops in the vicinity based on near-me searches. This search engine is also customizing results according to the person’s location. For example, if someone looks for “soul food” or “Southern food,” the results will list restaurants within a radius of a few miles first.

3. Create a Resilient Store

catered food at a buffet

If you need one trait to start and grow a business in this pandemic, it’s resilience. It can pay off more than productivity and efficiency. But how does it look like in a restaurant?

  • You can still generate a profit even when only 50% dine in. This is because you have other services that can support the business, such as deliveries and take-outs.
  • Your business won’t die even when the situation calls for another round of lockdowns or shelter-in-place orders.
  • It is scalable. You can start small and then expand it gradually over time.
  • You have a contingency or a business continuity plan.

Times are uncertain, which makes it challenging to deal with. However, you are more likely to succeed when the business can ride the waves.

4. Invest

If you have funds and don’t want to start a restaurant from the beginning, you can consider investing in existing restaurants. Many struggle these days, and they all need some help.

Note, though, that not everyone might agree to have a new investor. Others severely limit your participation in the business. A number might already have several partners, which means you can’t expect a fast return to your investment.

Opening a restaurant now is frightening, but it’s doable as long as you have the right support and be more strategic.

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