10 Ideas for Inspiration : Local Restaurants

Local business is hit hardest during economic downturn. Restaurants have a unique opportunity to get creative about driving attention and sales to their business. I’ve put together ideas for inspiration for Local Restaurants. It’s not much, but hopefully it prompts creativity.

  1. Increase Prices. I’d rather pay 20-30% more for a short period of time to support local businesses I enjoy as opposed to them closing down and serving no-one.
  2. Trade food for work. Rather than layoffs, offering team members food in exchange for volunteering could at least keep their families fed during an economic downturn.
  3. Sell goods straight from distributor. Grocery stores are slammed and people are already buying in bulk.
  4. SBA Disaster Loans. More information is emerging about this but there is creative financing available for restaurants.
  5. Host virtual cooking class that walks people through cooking restaurant favorites.
  6. Convert dining room into cooking space to increase kitchen capacity.
  7. Offer cook-it-yourself, pre organized meal options.
  8. Convert to curbside-pickup or drive-thru only.
  9. Adjust menu:
    • Reduce menu to simplest items. Streamline business around less effort higher throughput.
    • Reduce menu to highest margin items. Streamline business around fewer sales, better margins.
    • Reduce menus to fastest items. Streamline business around higher throughput, more sales.
    • Reduce menu to greatest surplus. Streamline business around reducing inventory and less waste.
    • Pick 2-3 above and combine them.
  10. Diversify your selling strategy:
    • Sell recipes. Leveraging expertise without needing to use the kitchen.
    • Sell ingredients, spices, and mixers separately.
    • Sell Gift Cards at 90% of their value, claimable at a future date.
    • Sell alcohol and beer like package store. (Disaster government restrictions makes this possible)
    • Sell high volume, freezable foods (10 gallons of soup, 10 pounds of smoked pork, etc)