Many industries across the spectrum were hit hard by the COVID-19 global health crisis, but few were hit harder than the restaurant industry. Restaurants across the country were forced to rapidly adapt to new regulations, and many were forced to shut down entirely for considerable stretches of time, some never reopening.
Many experts expected the restaurant industry to have a long, slower recovery, but trends indicate the recovery is going to be much faster than expected, and is already going on.
Why the Rapid Restaurant Recovery?
There are several reasons for this quicker-than-expected recovery.
- Many restaurants were forced to switch to carry-out only, offering different, easily reassembled menus to give their customers the full restaurant experience. Most seem to have kept this option, even as dine-in has resumed, expanding potential revenue.
- There has also been a boom in small, pop-up restaurant openings, many filling spaces vacated by other restaurants or retail operations closed down by the pandemic, therefore able to operate far cheaper.
- Many restaurants are choosing to operate “ghost kitchens”, ditching the need for real estate all together, operating delivery only businesses. Yelp reported an almost 175% increase in this type of business compared to the previous year, and the trend shows no signs of dying off.
What Should Food Service Distributors Do Now?
What does this mean for food distributors? Foremost it reinforces the fact that it is vital for food distributors to stay top of mind with their customers.
Restaurants, however they operate, will find themselves needing product quickly and often with little notice. With many distributors to choose from, you need to be the first thought that pops into a restaurant manager’s head. How do you do that? By continuously delivering value, and doing so with a high level of customer service.
Tools to Stay Top-of-Mind
Prime’s order guide functionality is ideal for not only managing orders, quickly adding items that are usually required by that restaurant, but also for presenting additional upsale or cross-sale opportunities.
Prime also features customizable, automated notifications, allowing for quick resolution of potentially troublesome scenarios, such as shortages or delays, ensuring that customers never feel blindsided and forgotten about.
Food distributors need to get ahead of the curve, as the restaurant industry recovery has already begun, and will only intensify as the global health crisis improves.
By employing an agile, modern ERP solution such as Prime FoodService, distributors will ensure that they remain top of mind with customers, and are able to adapt quickly and effectively to the changing business landscape.