Managing Restaurant Operations During the COVID-19 Pandemic

We understand that this an unprecedented time in our history. As members of the restaurant community, we understand that you may be looking for assistance, tips and new ideas to support your business. We will use this post to help and will provide regular updates as we all navigate the fast-moving climate together.

Updates posted today will be preceded with NEW.

Helpful articles and resources related to Restaurants and COVID-19

Updated August 21, 2020

There is an abundance of news and information available. We have compiled those that we find the most helpful and informative for restaurant owners and operators.

Comprehensive News and Information 

Several outlets have also compiled comprehensive updates, here are the ones we have been monitoring.

NEW Hospitality Technology STUDY: Drive-Thru Visits Up 43% Since April 

NEW Restaurant Hospitality 5 Steps for Dealing with Anti-mask Guests  

Modern Restaurant Management Five Ways You Can Implement COVID-19 Surcharges While Keeping Customers Happy 

Restaurant Hospitality Outdoor Dining and Meal Deals Draw Out Families During Pandemic 

Forbes PPP Loan: Last Chance To Apply—For Now

Bon Appetit From Pandemic to Protests: How Food Businesses Nationwide Are Responding 

Nation’s Restaurant News Restaurant Operators Share Stories from the Front Lines of the Coronavirus Pandemic and the Racial Justice Movement 

Modern Restaurant Management How Restaurants Can Improve Indoor Air Quality in the Coronavirus Era  

Restaurant Hospitality Is Safety Affordable? How Restaurant Operators are Factoring PPE into Their Budgets 

Restaurant Hospitality Restaurants Take Advantage of Outdoor Space as Indoor Dining Regulations Change with Coronavirus Surges 

Restaurant Hospitality Large Restaurant Chains Have Mostly Recovered from the Effects of COVID-19, While the Rest of the Industry Still Struggles 

Modern Restaurant Management Breaking Down One Lender’s PPP Loan Data (Infographic) 

Nation’s Restaurant News How Restaurants Should Prepare for a Second Wave of COVID-19, According to a Disaster Planning Expert 

QSR Magazine Restaurant Industry Added 1.5 Million Jobs in June

Money PPP, the Coronavirus Relief Program for Small Business Loans, Extended 5 More Weeks 

Nation’s Restaurant News States Begin to Make Cocktails-to-Go Laws Permanent 

Restaurant Hospitality PPP Deadline Extension Approved by Congress 

NY Times N.Y. Officials Halt Indoor Dining, Alarmed by Virus Rise in Other States 

Los Angeles Times Restaurant Dining Rooms, Wineries, Card Rooms to Close for at Least Three Weeks in 19 California Counties 

Forbes Restaurant Owners Worldwide Struggle to Strike Balance Between Safety and Revenue

Restaurant Hospitality How Restaurants Can Embrace Diversity and Inclusion 

Restaurant Business 14 Tips for Better Restaurant Hygiene 

Restaurant Hospitality Treasury Department and SBA Offer Streamlined EZ Application for PPP Loan Forgiveness 

Restaurant Hospitality Milkwood Closes Permanently But Will be Transformed into McAtee Community Kitchen 

Restaurant Hospitality Legislation for $120 Billion Grant to Independent Restaurants Could be Introduced This Week 

Restaurant Dive President Signs PPP LaThat Gives Restaurants More Flexibility  

Restaurant Hospitality Heads of Wow Bao and Taziki’s Mediterranean Café Plot Strategies for Growth 

QSR Magazine How One Black Restaurant Leader is Coping with America’s Racial Crisis 

Modern Restaurant Magazine A Practical Guide to Social Distancing Requirements for Restaurants 

FSR Magazine Senate Passes Sweeping Paycheck Protection Program Reform

Small Business Administration SBA and Treasury Department Announce $10 Billion for Community Development Financial Institutions to Participate in the Paycheck Protection Program  

Restaurant Hospitality House Overwhelmingly Passes Bill to Extend Paycheck Protection Program and Make it More Flexible 

Hospitality Technology The State of the Hospitality Industry: Uncharted Territory 

Restaurant Hospitality Reopened restaurants find there’s no one-size-fits-all way to bring back employees 

Restaurant Hospitality Restaurant Executives Press Paycheck Protection Program Term Extension with Trump 

Nation’s Restaurant News Workforce Issues Restaurant Employers May Face as They Reopen 

Restaurant Hospitality CDC Releases Guidelines for Reopening Restaurant Dining Rooms and Bars 

Restaurant Hospitality House Democrats Propose Next Coronavirus Relief Bill, Seeking $3 Trillion for States and Local Governments to Provide Another Round of Stimulus 

Restaurant Magazine Raising Cane’s Teams Up with Snoop Dogg, Shaq, NFL Stars to Celebrate Graduating Seniors Nationwide 

Hospitality Technology How COVID-19 is Reshaping Consumer Payments 

Nation’s Restaurant News Pent-up Demand Grows as Restaurants Reopen in Pandemic 

Restaurant Business State of Washington Requires Restaurants to Record Guest Visits  

Forbes How Small Restaurants Are Coping During The Pandemic

CNBC When Will Restaurants and Bars Reopen? Here’s What Experts Are Saying  

Restaurant Hospitality 24 Attorneys General Urge Congress to Fix Broken Paycheck Protection Program 

Restaurant Business April Was One of the Best Months in Papa John’s History 

Hospitality Technology Rewards for Digital Orders Tempt Guests 

Nation’s Restaurant News Treasury Department Guidance on Paycheck Protection Loans Gives Employers Exemption if Workers Reject Offer to be Rehired 

FSR Magazine 3 Ways Restaurants Will Adapt to a Post-COVID World 

Nation’s Restaurant News Restaurant Re-openings: What American Operators Can Learn from China 

QSR Magazine Raising Cane’s Avoids Layoffs as Sales Return to Pre-COVID-19 

Forbes Ten Things We Need to Know About Paycheck Protection Program Loan Forgiveness

Restaurant Hospitality White House Outlines Restaurant Reopening Guidelines 

USA Today Senate Approves Measure to Replenish Halted Coronavirus Small-Business Loan Program

Forbes Food Supply Chain Automation Could be a Bright Spot for Restaurants Amidst The COVID-19 Fight  

Modern Restaurant Management Staffing Solutions for Restaurants During COVID-19 Outbreak 

QSR Magazine Have Restaurant Sales Bottomed Out?   

USA Today Congressional Leaders Near Deal on Coronavirus Bill to Replenish Small-Business Program 

National Restaurant Association Restaurants Need $240 Billion Bailout as Job Losses Reach 8 Million 

Associated Press U.S. Restaurants Expect Big Changes When Their Doors Reopen  

QSR Magazine When COVID-19 Ends, Here’s How Restaurants Will Win 

FORBES The Paycheck Protection Program Ran Out Of Funding. What’s Next For Small Business Owners? 

CNBC Delivering Donated Meals to Coronavirus Workers is Helping Keep These Restaurants in Business

TimCoronavirus Is Hurting the Restaurant Industry. Here’s How It Could Change the Future of Food 

Restaurant Business How Will the COVID-19 Crisis Change Consumer Dining Behavior  

Modern Restaurant Management What Restaurants Need to Know About the Paycheck Protection Program 

National Restaurant Association Restaurants Tell Congress: Programs Not Providing Desperately Needed Relief 

Hospitality Technology COVID-19 Is Making Businesses More Vulnerable Than Ever to Phishing, Smishing and Vishing 

Nation’s Restaurant News Coronavirus Pandemic Wreaks Havoc on March Restaurant Sales 

Restaurant Hospitality Federal Loan ‘Lifeline’ May Get More Funding from Congress for Small Business 

Hospitality Technology Restaurant Technology in the Post-COVID-19 World

Nation’s Restaurant News How Wingstop is Growing Sales During the Pandemic  

QSR Magazine Have Restaurant Sales Bottomed Out? 

Eater New York Plans to Restart NYC’s Economy After Pandemic Includes Restaurants 

Forbes Chefs Seek More Federal Aid To Keep Independent Restaurants Alive Post COVID-19 

Nation’s Restaurant News What Restaurant Operators Need to Know About the New Small Business Administration Loan Programs 

Nation’s Restaurant News How Restaurant Chains are Catering to Families, Kids During the Coronavirus Pandemic 

Restaurant Hospitality Food Trucks Get Creative to Survive the Coronavirus Crisis, from Selling Groceries to Pivoting to Delivery 

Hospitality Technology Toast’s Rally for Restaurants Supports Community During COVID-19 Health Crisis 

Bon Appetit Closures, Takeout, and Relief Efforts: How Food Businesses Nationwide Are Handling Coronavirus 

Restaurant Hospitality Application Process for Paycheck Protection Program Begins April 3 

Restaurant Hospitality Despite Coronavirus, New Restaurants Open and Older Locations Reopen Their Doors

Forbes These Michelin-Star Restaurants Are Offering Delivery & Carry Out During COVID-19 

Restaurant Hospitality Chefs, Law Firm Form Coalition to Fight for Insurance Claims Related to Coronavirus 

Restaurant Hospitality How to Deal with Landlords in the COVID-19 Pandemic  

Forbes Getting Cash For Your Small Business Through The CARES Act 

Nation’s Restaurant News Here’s What the $2 Trillion Economic Stimulus Plan Does for Restaurants 

CBS San Francisco Bay Area Restaurants Step Up To Give Back During Uncertain Times Of COVID-19 Pandemic 

Associated Press Senate Passes Coronavirus Rescue Package on Unanimous Vote 

Washington Post Senate Aims to Vote Wednesday on $2 Trillion Coronavirus Bill After Landmark Agreement with White House

Bar & Restaurant $2T Stimulus Package Deal Reached

Morning Consult Voters Overwhelmingly Back Federal Help for Small Businesses, Restaurants

The Mercury News Today is ‘Great American Takeout Day’ to Support Restaurants During COVID-19 Crisis

Georgia Restaurant Association COVID-19 Restaurant Employer Guidance: Time Off Related to the Coronavirus

Horizon Beverage Up-to-Date Information for Hospitality, Restaurant, and Beverage Industries: COVID-19 Support and Relief Efforts

Statista Year-over-Year Daily Change in Seated Restaurant Diners Due to the COVID-19 Pandemic Worldwide from February 24 to March 22, 2020

Food and Wine The Big Four Pizza Chains Are Hiring Over 60,000 Employees to Handle Delivery Demand During COVID-19

Running Restaurants Restaurant Lease Questions, Concerns & Approaches with COVID-19 

Nation’s Restaurant News Restaurants Ask Consumers to Join #TheGreatAmericanTakeout Amid Coronavirus Fallout

National Restaurant Association Pivoting to Off-Premises

Nation’s Restaurant News National Restaurant Association Starts Grassroots Campaign Petitioning Lawmakers to Save Restaurants

National Restaurant Association COVID-19 Resources and Information by State

Nation’s Restaurant News National Restaurant Association Offers Guidance for States on Unit Closures and Plans for Local Economic Stimulus 

Nation’s Restaurant News Financial Relief Coming to Quick-service Franchisees Hammered by Coronavirus Pandemic

Hospitality Technology Restaurant Technology Network Kicks Off COVID-19 Workgroup

Nation’s Restaurant News Domino’s Pizza Hiring 10,000 Workers to Meet Delivery Demand During Coronavirus Crisis 

Bon Appetit How Food Businesses Nationwide Are Handling Coronavirus 

Black Box Intelligence Coronavirus and the Restaurant Industry: What the Data Shows

Fast Casual Following COVID-19: How the Virus is Affecting the Fast Casual Industry

Eater New York A Comprehensive Guide to Coronavirus and the Food World

National Restaurant Association Coronavirus Information and Resources

CNBC Delivering Donated Meals to Coronavirus Workers is Helping Keep These Restaurants in Business

TimCoronavirus Is Hurting the Restaurant Industry. Here’s How It Could Change the Future of Food 

Restaurant Business How Will the COVID-19 Crisis Change Consumer Dining Behavior  

Modern Restaurant Management What Restaurants Need to Know About the Paycheck Protection Program 

National Restaurant Association Restaurants Tell Congress: Programs Not Providing Desperately Needed Relief 

Hospitality Technology COVID-19 Is Making Businesses More Vulnerable Than Ever to Phishing, Smishing and Vishing 

Nation’s Restaurant News How Wingstop is Growing Sales During the Pandemic  

QSR Magazine Coronavirus Updates: What Restaurants Need to Know

James Beard Foundation How the Restaurant Industry is Responding to COVID-19

Running Restaurants Restaurants & Covid-19 (free recorded webinar)Great insights from  Roger Beaudoin from Restaurant Rockstars as well as questions and answers from restaurant operators.

News on Government Relief

Restaurant Hospitality Federal Loan ‘Lifeline’ May Get More Funding from Congress for Small Business 

Hospitality Technology Restaurant Technology in the Post-COVID-19 World

Nation’s Restaurant News Here’s What the $2 Trillion Economic Stimulus Plan Does for Restaurants 

USA Today Senate Passes Historic $2 Trillion Stimulus Package to Curb Effects of Coronavirus 

Forbes Small Business Relief Tracker: Funding, Grants and Resources for Business Owners Grappling with Coronavirus

Restaurant Business White House Says Relief for Restaurants is in the Works

Restaurant Hospitality National Restaurant Association Sends Restaurant Industry Recover and Relief Proposal to White House

Fast Casual Will US government grant restaurants’ request for $145 billion recovery fund?

Small Business Administration Coronavirus (COVID-19): Small Business Guidance & Loan Resources

Small Business Administration Disaster Assistance Loans for Small Businesses Impacted by (COVID-19)

Health and Sanitation  

Ensuring employees and customers are safe is a top priority among restaurants across the nation. Here are some tips on how to maintain a sanitary environment and confidence with your customers during this time.

Food & Drug Administration FDA Answers Food Safety Questions Regarding COVID-19

Nation’s Restaurant News How Should Restaurants Clean in Coronavirus Cases

AZ Central Ways to Keep Diners Safe

EPA List of disinfectants to use against COVID-19

Delivery and Creative Ideas 

As the nation’s restaurants move to a takeout and delivery model, here are a few resources to assist with this new reality.

Restaurant Hospitality Owner of Seattle Restaurant, Piroshky Piroshky, Launches Catch22: A Digital Restaurant Directory for Industry Hurting During Coronavirus Crisis

Nation’s Restaurant News Restaurants Pivot to Groceries and Meal Kits

Running Restaurants 25 Tips for Getting Your Restaurant’s Takeout and Delivery Right

Restaurant Business Restaurants Adapt Menus to COVID-19

Eater New York Grubhub Announces It Will Delay Collecting Fees as Restaurants Deal With COVID-19

Nation’s Restaurant News DoorDash announces relief measures for restaurants

FSR Magazine Why a Takeout-and-Delivery-Only Model Could Save Your Restaurant

Eater New York  Fine Dining Restaurants Are Pivoting to Takeout and Delivery

Monetary and Community Support

A number of outlets have put together lists of resources to help restaurants and small businesses financially.

Nation’s Restaurant News Financial Relief Coming to Quick-service Franchisees Hammered by Coronavirus Pandemic

Eater New York List of Relief Funds for Coronavirus-Affected Restaurants, Bars, and Food Service Workers

Food and Wine As Coronavirus Shutters Restaurants Across the Country, a Swell of Support for Workers Rises Up

Financial Relief for Restaurant Employees

Restaurant Business Other Industries Step in to Hire Unemployed Restaurant Workers 

Restaurant365 How the Federal Stimulus Package and Other Aid Can Provide Immediate Financial Relief for Your Restaurant Employees

Eater New York List of Local Relief Funds for NYC Restaurant Workers

Restaurant Opportunities Centers United National and City/State Resources Available to Restaurant Workers

Los Angeles Magazine People Are Pitching in to Help L.A.’s Independent Restaurants and Their Workers

What Restaurant365 is doing during this time

Updated August 21, 2020              

For their safety and health, R365 employees are required to work from home starting March 16.  Please know we will be working tirelessly to support you in these difficult times.  Please reach out to us. We want to hear from you.

Stay on Top of Your Finances

We’ve written several helpful blog posts designed to help you manage your restaurant’s financial health during these uncertain times, including 10 Essential Tips for Ensuring a Restaurant Break-Even Point, How to Manage Restaurant Cash Flow During Restaurant Restrictions and What is the Average Profit Margin for a Restaurant?.

 HR and Payroll

As you staff your restaurant back up, finding the correct approach to your payroll and HR requires expertise and knowledge of a complex labor landscape. Unfortunately, even small mistakes in payroll and HR can be costly for business owners. This blog post, How to Streamline Human Resources and Payroll in the Restaurant Industry, presents the basics of restaurant HR and payroll to help you prepare a plan that works for your restaurant business.

Restaurant payroll can be a challenge with employees receiving multiple types of compensation, from tips to salaries to hourly minimum wage. This is in addition to navigating tip credits, schedules and overtime, paid family or sick leave, and payroll taxes, as well as regulations that vary between federal, state, and local levels.

Our new e-book, Ultimate Guide to Payroll for Restaurant Operators, takes a deep dive into the unique difficulties of restaurant payroll and discusses technology solutions, including restaurant-specific payroll systems designed to help restaurant operators meet their payroll obligations, avoid any non-compliance penalties, and ensure accurate record keeping.

Plan for a Successful Recovery

We’re here to help you move from surviving to thriving and help you plan for your restaurant’s future success. To that end, we’ve written a blog post to help you reopen your restaurant. Read Restaurant Reopening Checklist: Tips for Thriving for guidance on achieving a smart recovery.

Are you doing everything possible to keep employees and customers safe in your restaurants? Read the blog post Exceeding Restaurant Health and Safety Protocols to Instill Customer Confidence for tips on going beyond the requirements.

Watch the new web series, Essentials for a Smart Recovery, to gain insights into the best operational and financial practices that will be important to your restaurant business, now and in the future.

Check back for new reopening resources or visit our Recover Resource Center.

The PPP Flexibility Act extends the expense forgiveness period from eight weeks to 24 weeks and reduces the payroll ratio requirement from 75% to 60%, allowing restaurant businesses to use up to 40% of funding for non-payroll expenses such as rent, mortgage interest or utilities. Read the blog post from our accounting partner, William Vaughan Company, PPP Loan Forgiveness for Restaurants, reflecting the latest  updates.

Current Restaurant Industry Trends 

Restaurant365 has a unique vantage point based on a diverse customer base that includes fast casual, quick serve and fine dining restaurants, spanning the entire spectrum of the industry segments, including large chains, franchisees, franchisors, independent multi-units and single units. We’ve aggregated data from this varied group in order to provide you with the clarity you need in this uncertain time to help you make better decisions. See the restaurant industry trend dashboard based on summary sales data drawn from Restaurant365’s customer base of more than 10,000 restaurants across all 50 states with nearly 100 point-of-sale vendors represented or read the article in QSR Magazine citing these numbers. To learn more, read the blog post, The State of the Restaurant Industry Amid COVID-19. 

2nd Round PPP Funds Available

Stay up to date on the Paycheck Protection Program with the blog post, 2nd Round Funding for Paycheck Protection Program: Latest Updates for an overview of the program, eligibility requirements and instructions for submitting a loan application.

For even more information, watch the on-demand webinar, CARES Act Paycheck Protection Program: Your Questions Answered.

Marketing Tips You Can Use Now

Marketing your restaurant business has never been more critical. Marketing experts from Restaurant365 and Baker Street Labs presented a roundtable webinar recommending no-cost and low-cost tools you can use to market your restaurant’s takeout/curbside/delivery services. The webinar addresses:

  • Tips on a messaging strategy
  • Sharpening your Instagram skills
  • Tips on email marketing
  • Ideas on how to pivot your entire business strategy
  • Free marketing tools that are available to you now

The popular webinar is now available on-demand. Watch a recording of the roundtable webinar, Marketing Tips for Promoting Your Restaurant Business Today. In addition, read the blog post, 13 Restaurant Marketing Ideas and Tips for Driving More Customers.

Thinking of Off-Premise Channels?

With many restaurants around the country either shifting to a takeout/delivery only model or implementing a delivery option for the first time, there are many factors to consider about how to navigate and make decisions in this new landscape. Watch a roundtable discussion with members of R365, FTR Hospitality, and All Systems Hospitality as they discuss accounting and operations tips, as well as what you need to consider when moving to this new model or read the blog post, Financial and Operational Implications of Moving to Restaurant Delivery/Takeout Only During COVID-19 Outbreak.

If you’ve already made the decision to move to a delivery/takeout only model, read the blog post, 12 Tips for Restaurant Delivery/Takeout During COVID-19 Crisis to increase the success of your temporary operational shift.

Calculating Your Restaurant’s Break-Even Point

Customers are asking how to calculate a break-even point to make data-driven operational decisions during this uncertain time. In response, we’ve written a blog post, How to Calculate a Restaurant Break-Even Point. We’ve also embedded a handy calculator within the blog post so that you can easily calculate your restaurant’s break-even point.

Many customers have also asked if there are tips for controlling costs in these trying times.  Here are the main steps we recommend:

  1. Reforecast your sales
  2. Adjust your ordering
  3. Adjust your staffing schedule
  4. Actively manage labor cost
  5. Tag your daily sales summary

We’ve written a helpful blog post with each step spelled out in more detail.  If you would like help in walking through these steps in your R365 system, please contact support and we’ll be glad to assist you.

Ready to learn how Restaurant365 can help you streamline your back office and discover profits?

Schedule a demo today.

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