Before everyone calls it quits on the month of June and gets their fireworks, burgers, and beach totes ready for the Fourth, check out our top five stories from the halfway month of 2020.
1. Why it might be time to raise your prices
I’ve worked in the hospitality industry for over 15 years, I know how insanely low restaurant margins can be. But, that’s not normally the case. Your everyday Joe Shmoe probably has no clue that his favorite local eatery has a razor-thin profit margin of about 4-6%. So, when Joe Shmoe finds out his favorite chicken dish has gone up $3, there’s little hope of him understanding why.
This is the dilemma restaurants have faced for years. The only way to make more money, without cutting quality, is to raise prices, but raising prices may mean you lose a few regular customers. Which is worse? Check out this great read from restaurant owner Joelle Parenteau. It sums up pretty much everything I said above but goes on to explain why it’s worth it for some restaurants to bite the bullet and add a few extra bucks onto their menu items.
2. The call to go beyond patio dining
Massachusetts-based chef and restaurant owner, Tony Maws, wrote a public letter to his customers earlier this month. Like many other states have done, Massachusetts allowed outdoor dining at restaurants beginning this past Monday. Maws’ letter was a reaction to the idea that outdoor dining alone is enough to save restaurants that have been forced to close their doors for months. It’s also a letter I believe millions of restaurant workers can relate to. It not only asks his customers to petition to pass legislation that will help rebuild the industry, but it also asks that patrons continue to order from and eat at their favorite neighborhood restaurants to support their cause. You can read Maws’ entire letter on Boston.com.
3. Hosting hybrid events
Hybrid events are a great way to host smaller private gatherings while offering a virtual aspect to invite in larger groups through video. As state regulations differ and private event sizes fluctuate, hybrid events ensure your venue can still host groups and offer an option to reach a larger audience. In a recent post from BizBash, event industry pros answer all of your hybrid event questions. Check out the full post here.
4. Literally the least you could do
A poignant op-ed from Eater Houston highlights the issues restaurants in Texas are currently facing as they try to enforce mask-wearing rules, and it’s disgusting. Earlier this week the state of Texas made it mandatory for all restaurant-goers and staff members to wear a mask until they are eating and drinking. The burden has now been placed on restaurant workers to police the public who refuse to wear masks.
How grown adults can be so rude and so selfish is beyond me. These restaurants opened and brought their staff back under risky circumstances, and literally the least you can do as customers is to wear a freaking mask. Stop being a baby, and wear a mask. Or, more effectively, if you want to whine about it, just stay home. That was my rant for the month, thanks for listening.
5. Reopening to reopen again
To follow on the footsteps of that last article, you know, the one that made me burn with rage, is another post from Eater. This one talks about how restaurants across the country are being forced to shut back down because their workers have tested positive for COVID-19.
We may think that we’re getting back to “normal” but that’s just not the case. Cities that opened restaurants back up too soon are now seeing spikes in cases and restaurant closing. These closings and reopenings come at a huge cost to industry workers, many of whom have had to weigh the risk of getting sick against receiving a steady paycheck.
It just goes to show that we must obey the rules, wear masks, and don’t go out if we feel sick or if someone close to us feels sick. Otherwise, that feeling of normalcy we’re all starting to enjoy again is going to be pulled out from underneath us in a flash.
The whole hospitality industry is in a tough time right now, but we are coming together to support one another until the storm passes. As people hunker down in their homes for the next indefinite period of time, look at these ideas for inspiration to bring joy to your loyal customers and provide work for your employees. To stay up to date on our latest recommendations for event professionals during this time, click here for our latest blog posts, check out our Two Chicks, Three Seats podcast, and view the recordings of our weekly Social Hour virtual roundtables.