A sharp knife does what it is supposed to do while a dull one does not.  Be prepared and you can take anything that is thrown at you. Now more than ever we need to be sharp and precise to be successful in the restaurant business.

Since the onset of  COVID-19 we’ve seen many restaurants say goodbye with many others teetering on the verge of closure. How can businesses remain viable or even thrive moving forward? I’ve got some insight I’d like to share.

  1. Get to know your P&L Sheet:
    The devil’s in the details. Know your numbers!
  2. Go after all Government relief programs:
    You have been paying taxes your entire working career, it is your money go get it!
  3. Negotiate rent relief with landlords:
    It’s better to have someone occupying their space at a reduced rent than not having anyone at all.
  4. Build consumer confidence:
    Go above and beyond to make your space safe for your guests. The business that can give their guest the safest environment will get return customers.
  5. Cook seasonally and locally when available:
    I know this seems self-explanatory but cooking seasonally and locally is cheaper, fresher, as well as more environmentally friendly.
  6. Reduce the size of your menu:
    This does three things, lowers your inventory, lowers the amount of staff need to prepare it and frees up working capital.
  7. Introduce efficient and multi-use cooking equipment:
    More efficient equipment will lower the amount of labour hours needed to prepare and cook your food. Investing in newer cooking technology that is multi-use will lower your energy since you’re using less equipment. Do more with less!
  8.  Takeout program:
    Many restaurants do great in-house food that doesn’t travel well. Test your takeout menu and make sure it’s as good when your customers get it home as it is when it hits the table at the restaurant. If not, 86 it.
  9.  Go digital:
    Printing menus are expensive and now you must sanitize them in between each use. Everyone has a smart phone, look at creating QR codes that take your customers straight to your online menu. Save money and some trees at the same time!
  10.  Preventative maintenance program:
    Make sure your cooking and beverage equipment is in good working order. A preventative maintenance program is a great way to take care of small issues before they become big ones. Having to do a major repair during this time will be a hard pill to swallow. You take your car in for tune-ups regularly, you should do the same with your kitchen equipment. In many cases it’s more expensive than your car.


I hope this helps. Keep a sharp edge…

Written by Mark McEwan

Chef & Western Canadian Sales Director

Food Service Solutions Inc.