With so much pessimistic and fake news out there, there is one optimistic outlook you can count on. Restaurant staff will return after the pandemic. The return may not be as immediate as we all would hope. The number of returning staff may not be 100%, but the premise of restaurants is a strong sense of community. In the beginning, a lean team is not a bad thing. Humans are social creatures and those who have a passion for the restaurant industry will return to the kitchen.
Returning to Restaurants After the Pandemic
Maybe customers will return for that signature dish. Maybe their return will be for a cheers to a good friend after being quarantined for months. Or, maybe it will be to throw on their beloved apron to begin where they left off. Now, there’s a lot of unknown right now. With the Cares Act, unemployment, PPP and various resources made available, restaurants are doing everything they can to survive. Restaurants are thinking about the high risks in funding as well as staff. The dedicated foodies and staff will return, it’s just a matter of when.
The Paycheck Protection Plan (PPP)
The Independent Restaurant Coalition has a petition active right now that outlines the PPP and the loopholes for independent restaurants. The IRC wants to elongate the time with which the government is giving restaurants to reopen, hire, and operate. The conundrum here is that the government also issued an additional $600 to those unemployed, which puts a wedge in the staffing realm. Restaurants are wondering if their dishwashers, bussers, and hostess’s will return. Hopefully the IRC is successful in their initiative as of right now, the plan is not geared towards independent restaurants.
Dedicated Restaurant Staff Will Return After the Pandemic
Those who really want to work, are going to return. The unemployment benefits are going to run out, so though posing as a wedge, it’s a mere potato wedge in the grand scheme of things. You want staff who want to work. Those who don’t return are likely not staff you want on your payroll.
Ready to Roll
Right now, it’s about hibernation and restarting. As soon as the governor gives the green light you need to prepare yourself to take off like a rocket. Procedures since the close down temporarily or since providing limited services are going to be different. We know now that there is going to be a higher awareness with cleanliness.
We also know many of the restaurants who remained open are going to have to reevaluate hiring and effective and efficient ways to operate. Customers are going to be on high alert, so what worked once in the past is not going to work, as we’ve seen, in the future.
Plan Your Work and Work Your Plan
It’s hard to wrap your head around it all, I know. No matter what you thought about in the past, you really have no choice right now but to take each day one day at a time. One of the biggest things you should really be modeling right now is planning and doing the best you can to build a framework for the future.
This time is a huge opportunity to think about the core elements and how you are going to work your plan. Talk to your staff and stay as flexible as possible. Keep your lines open. Most people want to work. Your loyal staff are going to want to return if you’ve kept the communication open and support strong. Stay positive and nimble. You may have to write your plan in pencil instead of pen the first time-around. Leverage this time right now.
Come Back, Cook, and Cooperate
It’s to everyone’s benefit to keep the restaurant industry alive. This pandemic has shown how strong the restaurant community is. The numbers don’t lie. A billion dollar industry providing a significant amount to the overall GDP in the U.S. It’s clear that restaurants stand for a lot more than dine and dash. Stay positive. Welcome your staff with open kitchens and keep them motivated. Appreciate their dedication.
Loyal Restaurant Staff Will Return After the Pandemic
The good thing is that everyone is in the same boat. Because of this, all industries are reflecting and placing an importance on being in the present moment and cooperating. The restaurant industry provides a significant amount to the economy and is responsible for employing 13-15 million people. Behind the federal government, the restaurant industry is the second largest. If you can think of large group of loyal people, the restaurant industry is where it’s at. I can’t predict nor will I pretend to predict the future. What I can do, is say that restaurant staff will return after the pandemic. Family sticks together. The restaurant industry: if you’re in it, you’re family.