Business Tips

How to Prepare to Reopen Your Business Post Lockdown - Sydney Edition

27/9/2021
By

With Sydney set to open up in the coming weeks, countless businesses are frantically preparing to mobilise staff, boost stock levels, and kick operations into gear again. 

Victoria’s roadmap out of lockdown has just been finalised, offering a glimmer of hope for venues, particularly those with outdoor areas. NSW businesses don’t yet have a detailed roadmap yet, but, at this stage, we do know that hospitality venues in NSW can reopen the Monday after the state hits 70% vaccination for residents aged over 16. This is looking to happen around mid-October; however, venues will be subject to restrictions that will limit venue capacity.

With all these restrictions in place, businesses will need to get ahead of the changes in advance and engage staff so they’re up to date with restrictions and ready to go when it comes time to open their doors once again.

So, how can you prepare and get ready to maximise profits once “Freedom Day” rolls around? Well, keep reading to find out!

1. Review Your Operations

Unless you’re a brand-new business, most hospitality businesses have already been through the process of streamlining their operations, training staff and even changing store layouts last year. But it doesn’t hurt to review your operations again to ensure the business is compliant while operating efficiently. 

As a starting point, review the following:

  • Your check-in process. Consider adding more check-in QR codes at the entrance of the business to streamline entry into the venue. Or, add more signage to make the process clearer. Make sure you have clearly marked signage to indicate social distancing requirements
  • Your venue’s table layout. This should be as efficient as possible to maximise capacity and comfortability for patrons
  • Payment methods. Reduce the risk of infection through physical contact by focusing on contactless payments. Implement integrated payment gateways that support a range of contactless payment methods like mobile, credit cards, and debit cards

2. Check-in on Staff Wellbeing

For some staff, it’s been a long, slow journey back to work. Happy staff are staff that stay with your business, so their personal wellbeing is critical. Check-in with your staff (personally, if possible) and make sure they are ready (and willing) to get back to work. Check whether or not you need to make any allowances for those with medical conditions.

3. Review Your Costs

While it’s fantastic that venues can open their doors to the public again, with the limitation on capacity, most are likely to be serving a reduced number of guests. Venues can only host one person per 4sqm inside and one person per 2sqm outside. Therefore, businesses need to maximise profits with every single customer interaction or booking:

  • Mix up your menu and see whether you can increase your pricing or use more cost-effective ingredients.
  • Minimise staff costs by carefully assessing the number of staff needed for the number of patrons in your venue. Depending on the size of your venue and the nature of your business, you may even find it’s not cost-effective to open in-venue dining until restrictions are relaxed further.
  • Optimise your booking policy. Each booking is crucial at a time like this. Taking customers on a reservation-only basis will help you stay within your venue’s new maximum capacity. You could implement a minimum number of people for bookings on weekends, or implement a booking cancellation fee to minimise no-shows.
  • Use blank time slots within your reservation system to stagger tables, avoid overcrowding, and ensure cover numbers do not exceed government restrictions.
  • Consider changing suppliers or check out Foodbomb’s range of suppliers to maximise profits.

4. Re-Train Staff on Safety Measures

With reopening comes a whole new set of safety measures for businesses, to ensure compliance with a string of new regulations. The NSW Government is still trying to navigate the sticky legal issues surrounding the re-opening. Yet, so far, they have made it clear that only vaccinated staff and patrons will be able to enter businesses after the 70% target has been hit.

Aside from that, businesses should aim to do all they can to ensure their staff and patrons stay happy and healthy, and should spread important safety messages to staff through training sessions. Business owners and managers should appoint a COVID safety marshal if they haven’t already, and train staff on:

  • Proper hygiene practices, such as regular times to sanitise hands
  • Check-in processes
  • Changes to your cleaning policy, such as disinfecting tables thoroughly after each booking
  • Any operational changes
  • Any new menu items or changes in pricing

Training sessions can be coordinated via Zoom. This is also a great way to introduce any new team members, spread positivity, and get staff excited about reopening.

5. Stock Up on Essentials

Reopening is likely to be unpredictable. That said, the last thing you want is to run out of your key ingredients on key trading days. Ordering essential items in advance is crucial, especially, when you’re trying to maximise your profit margins. Not only does buying in advance increase your bottom-line profits but it also gives you peace of mind and means your loyal customers won’t miss out on their favourite menu items. 

Remember; many other restaurants will also be gearing up for re-opening so there is every possibility that there may be shortages of certain items. Buying last-minute items at a premium can cost you money, and, at times like this, every dollar counts!

Check the expiration dates on your existing stock to make sure supplies are still within their use-by date. To make sure you’re covered, contact suppliers or your Foodbomb Growth Manager in advance. Ask about the availability of your most important supplies so you can be aware of any high-demand items. And don’t forget to stock up on cleaning supplies!

Finally, remember – to be kind to your suppliers! Suppliers are businesses just like you and they, too, are just getting back into the groove of things. Over-communicate with your suppliers to stay informed and make sure to keep your suppliers in the loop about any changes as early as possible.

Foodbomb Can Help You Prepare

At Foodbomb, we’re passionate about making life easy for business owners and venues, especially in such a difficult time! We’re here to help. Simply reach out to our Support team if you need support or speak directly to your Growth Manager. Or sign up for a free Foodbomb account today!

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