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Restaurant Restart Checklist to Make Sure that Everything is On Point

Restarting a restaurant is a challenging yet exciting venture that demands meticulous planning and execution. Whether you’re reopening your restaurant after a renovation or introducing a new concept, a well-structured strategy is essential for a smooth restart. In this blog post, we present an 8-point restaurant checklist covering crucial aspects from licenses to marketing, guiding you through the restart process successfully.

Update Licenses and Permits

Ensure that all necessary licenses and permits are current and comply with local regulations. This includes food service permits, liquor licenses, health department inspections, and other required certifications. Double-check expiration dates and submit paperwork well in advance to prevent any regulatory obstacles that might delay your reopening.

Assess Equipment and Facilities

Conduct a thorough evaluation of your restaurant’s equipment and facilities. Look for damages or malfunctions that may have occurred during the closure. This could involve inspecting kitchen appliances, plumbing, and electrical systems. Timely addressing of any issues ensures that your restaurant is fully functional and meets the standards for safety and efficiency.

Review Menus and Inventory

Reevaluate your menu offerings to align them with current restaurant market trends and customer preferences. Consider updating your menu based on the feedback received during your closure. You can also use QR code menus to save the cost of reprinting.  Simultaneously, conduct an in-depth review of your inventory. Identify items that need replenishing and establish reliable relationships with suppliers to guarantee a consistent supply of fresh, high-quality ingredients.

Train and Rehire Staff

Reconnect with your previous employees and assess their availability and willingness to return. Provide refresher training sessions to keep everyone up-to-date with the latest industry standards and protocols. If there are gaps in your workforce, hire new employees and ensure they undergo thorough training. A well-trained and motivated staff is essential for delivering the high-quality service that your customers expect.

 Develop a Marketing Plan

Craft a comprehensive marketing plan to generate excitement and attract customers to your reopened restaurant. Update your website to reflect any changes or improvements, launch targeted social media campaigns, and reach out to local media outlets for coverage. Consider implementing promotions or special offers to entice both loyal and new customers to experience your revamped establishment. Create interactive content and engage with customers on social media platforms. 

Implement Health and Safety Protocols

Given the ongoing concerns related to health and safety, it’s crucial to prioritize the well-being of both staff and customers. Implement guidelines issued by local health authorities, such as social distancing protocols, enhanced sanitation practices, and mask-wearing policies. Communicate these measures to your staff and customers to create a safe and comfortable dining environment.

Update Technology and Point of Sale Systems

Embrace modern technology to improve operational efficiency and enhance the customer experience. Invest in contactless payment options to minimize physical contact, partner with delivery platforms for added convenience, and consider using reservation management software to streamline the booking process. Updating your technology infrastructure ensures that your restaurant stays competitive in today’s digital landscape.

Conduct Staff Meetings and Rehearsals

Before the reopening, gather your staff for meetings and rehearsals to ensure everyone is on the same page. Discuss any new procedures or protocols that have been implemented, address potential challenges, and provide a platform for your team to ask questions. Conducting mock services helps identify areas that may need improvement, ensuring a seamless and confident reopening.

Restarting a restaurant is a multifaceted process that involves careful attention to licenses, equipment, staffing, marketing, health and safety, technology, and staff training. It’s an opportunity not only to reopen but to improve and adapt to the changing needs of your customers. By following this comprehensive checklist, you’re setting the stage for a thriving business. Stay proactive in gathering customer feedback after reopening. Regularly assess satisfaction levels through surveys or direct interactions with customers. Use this feedback to make necessary adjustments and continuously enhance the overall dining experience.

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