Coronavirus is here, and we are here to help you turn your retail business into a drive thru powerhouse. Part One of the series focused on taking inventory, which you can read here. Now let's talk about a critical part of getting off the ground quickly: deciding what to sell.
This is part of the series “Surviving Coronavirus: Seven Steps your Retail Business or Restaurant Can Take to Succeed”
Limit Options: Simplicity is key. Whether you are operating a food establishment or a retail business, limiting options for your customers at the start is essential to getting off the ground quickly. This will maximize safety, keep your customers comfortable, and help you build a great foundation. Whether it is supply chain constraints or order assembly bottlenecks, many of the items you used to sell may not be ideal for this new environment. Focus on the highest demand, easiest to track and produce items. You can expand to include more offerings later on.
In the new setup, most initial customer interactions will come via Call Ahead, Online, or Take Out orders. Your employees receiving these orders, either via phone, text, email, or a new piece of software, need to stay efficient during the ordering process. This is where a website will be an important tool. It doesn’t have to be complicated. In fact, the simpler the better to start. This website is your new menu, so highlight the items which make you differential and that you can consistently provide. Provide a straightforward checklist of what your customers can expect and how they can receive their items while minimizing contact. Do your best to provide conservative pick up times so your guests aren’t waiting outside for you to complete the order.
Be sure to think about your customer experience through a new lens. Presentation will probably take a back seat to consistency. If you are a restaurant that isn’t used to offering To-Go food, you will quickly realize not all food travels equally. No matter how much you love your Spaghetti Carbonara, if your guests have to travel 15 minutes before they can even open the container to enjoy, you will likely be selling Cream of Bacon soup over soggy Chef Boyardee noodles instead of your famous dish. Plan accordingly.
You've taken inventory and simplified your offerings. You're well on your way. Next, we will cover creating an online interface with your customer base and digital payment processing (it's easier than you think).