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5 Ways That Full-Service Restaurants Have Adapted During COVID

Jul 30, 2021 Franchise Information

As we navigate through what has been arguably one of the most significant challenges for the hospitality industry in our lifetimes, it’s helpful to reflect on some silver linings.

This has been an incredibly tough couple of years. But it has also forced us to regroup, evolve, and reassess the core of our business.

Full-Service Restaurants have taken the brunt of the lockdown regulations, as we know. But one silver lining is that we are emerging from the pandemic even stronger and better than before. Despite the challenges, many of us have taken the opportunity to make improvements to our restaurants. Here are some of the ways we’ve improved.

Patio Improvements

With the renewed attention to outdoor dining, some Full-Service Restaurants have expanded seating capacity and in some cases improved the comfort level of our patio dining areas. Some of us have even invested in heating and cooling systems to extend patio season by another few weeks, wherever possible.

These changes will have positive long-term effects, given that regardless of pandemics, people in Canada still love eating outdoors when they can. A great patio is certainly a draw for your location. Keeping it in great shape will go a long way to recouping some of the costs incurred during the COVID years.

Revamped Takeout

Maybe we didn’t rely on takeout as one of our main sources of revenue before the pandemic. But now that people are far more accustomed to eating at home, and because of the wide adoption of aggregators like Skip the Dishes and UberEats, our takeout business has become a significant revenue source. In some cases, restaurants have seen takeout revenue remain the same if not increase once lockdowns are lifted.

Many have taken this opportunity to set the foundation for more efficient packaging, streamlined apps, and ordering systems, and custom menu options to accommodate at-home diners.

Enhanced Safety

Enhanced safety protocols apply both for patrons dining in the restaurant, as well as our food handling procedures.

Recipe brands have always had top-tier food safety standards in place. With the increased regulations adopted as a result of COVID-19 and with the rollout of Recipe’s extremely successful “Social Safely” program, Recipe’s full-service restaurants are safer and more efficient than ever before.

Consumer confidence is playing a huge role in patrons getting back to eating at restaurants with the same frequency as pre-pandemic levels. Having these increased safety protocols across all Recipe brands is vitally important as we look to the future.

Increased Digital Presence

As we progress to being a fully digital (and mobile) society, we can’t ignore the benefit of enhancing how people interact with our restaurants online.

Many of our full-service restaurants stayed in front of patrons through email groups, mobile apps, and brand websites during the pandemic. This created a sense of familiarity and loyalty that we have seen carry through as lockdowns were lifted.

As important as in-person visits are to full-service restaurants, when in-person dining is not an option staying connected with our wonderful supporters is extremely important.

Our patrons expect the same quality that they enjoy in our dining rooms to transfer to their experience with our digital presence. Recipe full-service restaurants have risen to meet this challenge head-on and will continue to do so.

Strengthened Community

Probably the most important thing to come out of all this is the strengthened sense of community between everyone in the full-service restaurant community. Regardless of competing with one another, we’re all in this together. We understand the challenges. This pandemic has allowed us to reflect on how we can support each other and share ideas and experiences.

It has also created a sense of support and loyalty from patrons that was not as clearly defined before the pandemic. On the whole, patrons are supportive and empathetic to the challenges full-service restaurant staff have had to face over these challenging months. The sense of community between staff and patrons has never been stronger.

As we look to the future, it’s important to keep perspective on what we’ve learned, and the silver linings that have presented us with growth opportunities. Canada recognizes the importance of the Full-Service Restaurant industry, and how much it means to us. As we start to emerge from this challenge, we’ll be all the more prepared for what may be down the road.

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