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Bruce Reinstein is a 40+ year restaurant and hospitality veteran who now serves as a partner at Kinetic12, a food service and general management consulting firm focused on improving strategy.
He’s also worked with some top level brands that we promise you know, but can’t disclose. After recently writing an 8-part series for FSR Magazine about the future of restaurants, he shared valuable insights on what restaurateurs can do going forward on this edition of Give An Ovation. Here’s a brief summary:
1. The Old Normal Isn’t Coming Back
While we don’t know what the new normal will look like exactly, we know one thing: it won’t be how it was. So if you’ve been thinking you can hunker down, hold your breath, and continue where things left off once the corona virus passes, well…don’t hold your breath.
2. Safety First, But For Real
Bruce mentioned that many of us in the food industry were very safety conscious at the beginning of COVID-19, but have gotten a little lax. It’s still crucial to provide safe environments for the sensitive customers out there!
3. Be Flexible
Consumers have different expectations than they ever have before, and they’re changing faster than before as well. Therefore, it’s critical that you have options for everyone, including delivery, curbside, outdoor eating and more.
4. Menu Quality > Quantity
Decreased sales mean you must cut expenses in order to stay afloat. One suggestion from Bruce was to cut out unpopular items from your menu. It may be hard to get rid of ol’ Sally’s favorite dish, but if Sally’s the only one who loves it, it’s got to go.
5. Boost Your Fringe Times
People are avoiding going to restaurants during busy times, so figure out how you can boost traffic during slower times like 10 AM or 3 PM. Some of Ovation’s clients have seen crowds by simply sending out a promotional text on a Monday afternoon.
6. The Future Is Bright
Bruce has been a restaurateur in hard times, and noted that it always gets better. Actively look for solutions and they will come! “The one thing you can never do in the restaurant business is look at what you did yesterday”, said Bruce.
Thanks for reading! Make sure to check out the whole podcast, as well as other interviews with restaurant/business gurus by checking out “Give an Ovation” on YouTube, podcast.ovationup.com, or your favorite place to listen to podcasts.
And don’t forget to email Bruce directly at firstname.lastname@example.org, and check out his series on fsrmagazine.com for more from him!