In your plate blog series by MasterTAAG
Reinvent the menu experience

A well organized team is the key to a successful reopening this year.

Duration: 3 minutes

A promising year ahead

After a long year of staying at home and take-aways, it seems like your restaurant can finally reopen! As a restaurant owner/manager, this might be overwhelming for you. From standalone restaurants to hotel restaurants, here are some tips for your post-COVID restaurant reopening.

The European tourism industry has seen a 64% decline in visitor spending in 2020 compared to 2019. 3.6 million jobs (around 10% of 2019’s workforce) related to the tourism industry were lost due to the pandemic.

As the situation continues to improve, talks about reopening are rather optimistic. Here are what some of the industries’ experts have said:

Fritz Joussen, chief executive of Tui, said that Greece’s decision to accept vaccinated tourists is a smart move as people are looking forward to the sun and relaxation.

Despite COVID, demand for outdoor activities and the sunny weather will be there, said Mark Tanzer, chief executive of ABTA.

Know your staff

One of the most important puzzle pieces to a successful reopening is well-organized staff.

“Knowing your staff is as important as knowing your customers”

The reopening dates are important because they give you a rough estimate of when you can expect customers to come through that front door. Keeping in mind peak hours and holidays, it is important to have enough staff on hand. Not having enough staff will reduce the efficiency of your service. However, having too much would be counterproductive.

Before your big reopening, make sure your employees are well-prepared to accommodate your expected customers. How can you prepare them?

Click here to read more! (available soon)

Customer experience matters as much as the food

Proper training can certainly help! After a year of inactivity, some of your employees might have forgotten the crucial parts of hospitality. It is necessary that they understand that the customer not only pays for the food but also the experience that comes with it! About 56% of people prefer to spend money on an experience rather than just food, according to the National Restaurant Association. Customers looking for a good time at your restaurant will not be impressed with grumpy and rude staff.

The food is important, but the experience is just as important.

Depending on the sanitary measures put into place by your local jurisdiction, if your staff is not required to wear a mask, remind them to smile and give a heartwarming welcome! A year of wearing a mask has hid the many expressions that we are used to pre-COVID. A smiling person is rarely something we see nowadays except on our screens.

Understanding your staff can help you organize your team more efficiently. Handpicking the right people with the right skills compared to randomly placing them will be like night and day when it comes to service and speed. While a chef is able to work the cash register, a trained waiter or waitress can operate it much quicker.

Reopening Dates

The list below shows the re-opening dates and any information concerning restaurants in select countries. The table was updated on 21/05/2021.

Digital restaurant menu

From 17 May:
Curfew: No
Opening hours: No restrictions
Sanitary measures: 
Venues are prohibited from providing smoking equipment such as shisha pipes & COVID-secure rules continue to apply

Source (in English)

Curfew: No
Opening hours: until 2300 hours
Sanitary measures: Bars: 1.5m social distance is mandatory, 1.5m physical distance between tables;
Restaurants: limit of 4 people per table and 30% capacity for indoor dining

Source (in Spanish)

Curfew: 2200 – 0500 hours depending on number of infections
Opening hours: Take-aways only
Sanitary measures:

Source (in German)

Click here for the full list!

Thank you for reading.

I hope you have learned something new from the first part of our new blog series! Stay tuned for more tips on your post-COVID restaurant reopening next week!

Author: Jin Liaw
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“Reinvent the menu experience”
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