9 Helpful Strategies for Restaurants During Economic Slowdowns

9 Helpful Strategies for Restaurants During Economic Slowdowns

There’s no denying that economic slowdowns have a winnowing effect. This is the time when you’ll see a lot of businesses closing shop or downsizing. However, you will also observe the strong ones thriving and performing better than ever before. Indeed, difficult times are revealing, but the more important thing to focus on is how to be among the tough establishments that thrive.

For restaurants, the fierce competition within the industry and the high operational costs are no longer the only variables impacting the achievement of goals. Currently, the limited mobility created by the 2020 global situation because of the highly transmittable COVID-19 is also derailing progress. However, these frustrating factors are bringing forth opportunities for fresh ideas on business survival, and many efforts are yielding impressive results.

So, if your restaurant or dining establishment is struggling during these economically challenging times, below are nine strategies that have been proven effective as adjustment methods for many foodservice providers. Perhaps you can use some of them to keep your business out of the red. There are 9 strategies for restaurant that helps:

1. End Day Discounts

This is not a new strategy, but basically, as the workday is ending, the prices of menu items, particularly those prepared at the start of the day, are slashed down significantly. This is a helpful method in preventing wastage and securing sales for restaurants and other foodservice businesses.

 2. Menu Revamp

Making changes to the menu is likewise an effective tactic in keeping the restaurant business afloat. Replacing pricey items with more affordable ones and getting rid of unpopular offerings to present new ones can revive customer interest.

A menu revamp will prompt the restaurant to explore more ingredients, as well as find better food and beverage companies. In UAE, the decision to find a different supplier for restaurant ingredients is all it takes to come up with impressive tweaks to recipes. A more diverse selection offers various possibilities for a much-needed change.

3. Charitable Efforts and Partnerships

Bringing a charitable movement into the framework of operations is a powerful branding and marketing strategy. According to TheBalanceSmB.com, businesses’ effort of giving back to the community or supporting noble initiatives also provides regular folks or customers with the gratifying feeling of contributing to the improvement of the world.

Therefore, restaurants that strive to uplift the community by creating a charitable contribution through their operations can expect a boost to their brand, growth in clientele, and increased sales and profits.

4. Free Delivery Services

Offering free delivery services is always a draw for customers. And, in a lot of circumstances, this offering has proven to be a driver behind more orders per purchase. If your restaurant business has temporarily shifted to more online transactions these days, think of creative ways to make free delivery services work to your advantage.

Some restaurants offer these when a set minimum purchase is reached. Meanwhile, free delivery services are likewise provided for particular purchases or as rewards when a customer has referred another customer to the restaurant. There are many ways to create a free delivery service program, and these are worth implementing, especially if they can net your business more sales.

5. Meal Packages

What makes meal packages great for picking up more sales is that a lot of people naturally gravitate toward all-in-one solutions. The meal packages from restaurants can present a good variety of dishes at an affordable price.

It’s highly likely that you’ll attract more customers if you offer different meal packages that contain top picks from your restaurant in customizable portions. You’ll surely be able to target those who usually find it a hassle to scan through an extensive menu to decide on a meal.

6. Fewer Days of Operations

Fewer Days of Operations

This is a relatively new business model that a lot of accommodations and foodservice businesses are experimenting with. Many of them find that operating fewer days a week does not just reduce costs, but it boosts their productivity and overall business performance.

Operating on fewer days improves employees’ engagement and focus. They are less stressed and, therefore, work more harmoniously with each other. Plus, more days off from work allows them to refine their skills. Thus, they get to contribute more to the image and reputation of the enterprise, which can lead to a reasonable price increase for services.

7. Shared Commercial Space


Along with reducing operational hours or days, sharing the commercial space is another strategy that can keep the restaurant business going in slow times. Overall, it’s just a clever way to manage the strain of financial responsibilities without giving up operations. Both businesses can save a lot on regular expenses.

One way of executing this strategy is for one restaurant to close during off-hours and let another business, such as a bar or cafe, take over during those hours. The “mother” business gets to earn passive income through the off-hour rental arrangement. Meanwhile, the smaller business doesn’t have to worry about set-up and other startup costs. It’s a win-win situation for both parties.

8. Special Events Participation

Taking part in big-time events creates another avenue for income. Regional food festivals, for instance, are great affairs for introducing the restaurant to a new audience. Community fairs and local gatherings can likewise do the same and also earn extra business sales. The key here is to keep an eye out for these events and study their benefits to your business thoroughly.

9. Competitions

Holding contests and special competitions can raise interest in the restaurant and draw in more customers. These events bring excitement to the operations, and they are also opportunities for discovering products and services that the restaurant can adopt full time.

A competition that’s hosted by some popular restaurants is one that pits different amateur chefs and cooks against each other. For the contest, they need to prepare a full-course menu to be evaluated and scored by select restaurant customers.

The prize of the winner is they’ll get to work at the restaurant for a few months, and their winning recipes will be included in the menu, for which he will also get royalties to help him start his own business.

Staying proactive can work to the best advantage of restaurants during these troubled times. Strategic efforts will keep your business operational, and you also have the opportunity to be among the industry leaders once the economy gets better.

Author Bio

Jad Asaad is the Marketing Manager at Bidfood UAE with more than eight years of experience in digital, online, and offline marketing. He started his career in Beirut, working in a creative agency, and then moved to Dubai to further expand his career. He created and implemented award-winning high-impact digital and offline marketing campaigns that consistently generated revenue streams and improved performance in targeted segments.

Trending Topics:

Share this page with friends and family

leave your comment

Your email address will not be published.