COVID-19 has devastated the service and hospitality industries. Every day that goes by, the US seems to break new
records. This elevates our level of uncertainty to levels we couldn’t have imagined a year ago in the businesses
we have dedicated our lives too. Whether it be government mandated or mandated by simple economics, you may be
facing a temporary closure of business. Last March, we all experienced this and have learned lessons from each experience.
Here is what you need to do now...
Notify your staff!
Your staff is the lifeline of your business and you’ll need them to assure a proper temporary closing of the business
and ability to reopen seamlessly as quickly as possible. Service and hospitality workers are among the hardest
working and most loyal employees of any industry. They have been there for you, now be there for them.
Know your state’s unemployment policies and offer assistance to each staff member as they navigate their own
uncertainty. Let them know they will be welcomed back as soon as your business is ready!
Clean and sanitize everything!
Right after closure, bring your staff in for a cleaning day. You’re going to have perishables that you’ll need to get rid
of before you close, so offer your team anything that can’t be stored and reused or frozen. Beer also needs to be sold
fresh and is a great motivator…
When you do reopen, you have no excuse for not having your business immaculate and ready to hit the ground
running. Deep clean all of your cooking equipment. Clean out your grease traps. Clean and sanitize all of your
equipment and areas above, under and behind. Even the most rigorous of cleaning schedules can miss areas.
You may also need a health inspection before you reopen. Make your health inspector proud!
Negotiate with vendors and your landlord if possible.
You are not the only business that is struggling in these times. Your vendors and landlord are most likely facing
difficult financial times and handling cost cutting as well. If you can, offer to pay a smaller monthly amount to keep
your vendor accounts active and lower your balances in good faith. As commercial property prices are starting to
drop, review your lease with your landlord. Items such as a lease extension at current market value in lieu of or
reduction in rent during your shutdown may be possible. Reasonable measures can be negotiated in unreasonable times.
Shut down any unnecessary equipment.
Consolidate any refrigerated non-perishable or frozen items into as few units as possible. Deep clean and unplug the rest
of your refrigeration units.
Unplug all of your neon lights, TV’s and POS terminals (but keep your main PC on for any POS updates and for backup).
Any lights that are on a timer should be shut off. The electricity savings may surprise you.
Shut off the main gas valve to avoid any leaks and save on your gas bill.
Cancel or suspend any unnecessary subscriptions and services.
Let your waste removal company know you will not need service once your deep clean has been completed. After your
deep clean, suspend your overnight or contracted cleaning service if possible.
Cancel your TV package. Suspend any subscriptions to software programs for reservations, etc. By the way, TableBoost
is FREE, so no need to! Keep your alarm on (may require you to keep phone and/or internet service).
Stay updated with all communications from the National Restaurant Association, and your state’s Restaurant Association.
Reach out to your local and state representatives, they are your voice in government. Make your voice heard.
There may be grant or loan programs at the state or local level targeted to assist you and your tax-earning business
during this difficult time.
If you’re planning on hibernating for the winter, Prepare, stay aware, stay safe and be ready to wake up when the