Culinary Arts
2 min read

Crisis Management for Restaurants: What can we learn during Covid?

Martin Jeffrey
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One thing is clear: the corona virus is changing the world. Our professional pathway students absolving the Swiss Professional Degree HF have analysed the current situation in the hospitality industry in the major Culinary Arts. Which measures have been applied by the businesses and which have become established?

Find below a summary of the ten most important results of the study by our hospitality management students:

In the COVID-19 crisis creativity is needed from restaurants!

Our crisis management measures for restaurants

Creative solutions are required to survive in the crisis. The classic restaurant or hotel business must change. The gastronomic offer should be adapted and meet the newly developed needs and demands.

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In concrete terms, the following measures are proposed to make positive use of the period of restrictions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic:

  1. Focus on regionality: Restaurants and catering companies should now rely on local suppliers to support the local economy. This also shortens supply chains and thus reduces national or international dependency.
  2. Reduce variety of offers: At the same time this is the perfect opportunity to revise the menu. The dishes should be regional, fresh and sustainable, but the selection may be a little smaller.
  3. Address domestic guests: In the coming months, the gastronomy will have to focus more on customers from their own country. Long journeys abroad will disappear for some time and foreign tourists will also be absent.
  4. Offer take away and delivery services: This service represents an additional source of income. It solves the social distancing problem, as guests do not consume locally and gastronomes can also attract new guest segments. The take-away and delivery services should aim at a healthy and balanced diet, as there is still a lot of potential in this area.
  5. Increase additional sales: Offer a dessert or a glass of wine along with your meal or a free stay in the wellness area if you book overnight. Whenever possible, guests should be encouraged to expand their basic selection.
  6. Organize small events: In spite of or because of the crisis, guests want to be entertained. As long as large events are not allowed, small-scale events are very important. Provided that all protective measures are observed, this represents a great added value for the guests.
  7. Increase online presence: A professional online presence should be set up now at the latest. Social media in particular can be used to communicate quickly and easily with potential guests. News about your own offer can be distributed with high coverage and very low costs.
  8. Enable new payment methods: Cash goes a long way. It moves from person to person and can pose a risk of virus transfer. Paying by card or with digital tools such as Twint enables contactless and hygienic processing of payments.
  9. Set up a check-in: Not only hotel guests, but also restaurant visitors should be required to provide personal data during a stay. Only with this information can a tracing of contacts be guaranteed in an emergency.
  10. Introduce several seating options: With two table times in the evening, the flow of guests can be better regulated. In addition, a higher capacity utilisation can be achieved by double occupancy of the tables. At a welcome desk at the entrance, guests are welcomed, reservations are checked and the guests guided to the tables.

Which of these measures will probably continue to be implemented after the Covid-19 crisis?

In this second part you can find out more about how our students see the restaurant management after the crisis.

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Lecturer at EHL Passugg

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