Monday, April 26, 2021

How Independent Restaurants Ate Coping in the COVID Era

 Many industries have felt the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic over the course of the past year. Independent restaurants in South Carolina have been hit harder than a lot of other industries as statewide restrictions have limited what is available to patrons. Here is a look at some of the ways independent restaurants are navigating through the pandemic.

Outdoor dining

Heat lamps, tents and new dining areas are being put in place to accommodate outdoor dining. However, the winter months can sometimes be a little too harsh for this type of dining experience. When Mother Nature permits, independent restaurants are being very creative in how their dining areas are arranged.

Curbside pickup

Independent restaurants are making it easier for patrons to pick up food without having to risk social contact. Curbside pickup allows patrons to drive up, get their food and go. Prompt ETAs make this a very efficient option as customers typically return when they are no wait times. Curbside pickup should not come with any wait times outside of the exact time provided.

Special menus

To keep overhead costs down, some independent restaurants are limiting their menu options. But this is not necessarily a bad thing for customers. It is important to remember that quantity does not always translate into quality. Fewer menu items could mean better menu options, in addition to weekly specials that could make for a unique dining experience. Cutting some menu items also allows restaurants to keep functioning. 

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Social media marketing

With overhead costs still, some independent restaurants have taken to social media to promote their business. This type of advertising is free of charge and if done right, it can create a lot of new business. Independent restaurants are looking more favorably on establishing a social media presence as advertising is taking on a different form.

Delivery options  

Most independent restaurants do not deliver. But the COVID-19 pandemic has changed a lot of the way business is done. There is nothing wrong with offering delivery options as it is another way for an independent restaurant to stay connected to its customers. It is also a way to keep business steady as food delivery options have increased during the pandemic. Independent restaurants can use this avenue, although it will need to be sure food arrives promptly while maintaining freshness.

Blue Bar & Smokehouse is a proud independent restaurant in Fort Mill, SC that has adjusted to the current climate in an effort to keep providing customers with the best barbecue Fort Mill has to offer.