11 Tips that could help you in the Corona Crisis

Information for Restaurateurs

Restaurants, bars, cafés and catering businesses are suffering from the acute situation caused by the current COVID-19 medical crisis and governmental measures as restrictions of movement to prevent the virus from further spreading. The absence of guests leads to declining sales and thus threatens many livelihoods. We at METRO are at your side in this challenging time and have therefore put together some tips to help the restaurant and catering trade keep the ability to take action in these times.

11 tips that could help restaurateurs in the corona crisis

1. Get an overview!
Getting an overview of current earnings and expenditures helps you estimate how much money the current situation will cost and whether a loan is needed. If financial support is required, these figures can help you: operating income before taxes including outstanding invoices and repayments as well as private withdrawals.

2. How to deal with your staff?
Your colleagues are those keeping your restaurant, bar or café alive. In a moment of severe restrictions and a massive cut of income, you must deal wisely with your team – to keep your business running, while not taking their jobs. Talk with your employees about a joint emergency plan and find a common solution. It may be possible for employees to take extraordinary leave or to reduce accrued overtime. If, in the current situation, employees are facing exceptional family circumstances, unpaid leave may also be considered. Don’t forget: Your employees must inform you about any symptoms of COVID-19 or about contact to those having symptoms in their immediate environment.

3. Watch out for state measures to support wages!
In a situation of inactivity due to COVID-19 measures, business owners may decide to temporarily suspend the employment contracts of its employees or reduce their workday. The respective Government might offer some opportunities here – as for instance short-time work. Registering for short-time work is a short-term solution to insufficient workload for your staff.

4. Extend your service offerings!
Delivering meals to your customers can be a solution for the lack of restaurant visitors or when only delivery and pick-up services are allowed. Furthermore, there will still be companies in each region that will not close and may well need restaurant meals to be available. Actively offering buffets or meals with delivery will certainly be of interest to these businesses. Private patrons will also continue to have an appetite for delicious food and would perhaps enjoy an exclusive delivery service. As a first step, it is advisable to limit the delivery service to a certain radius in order to test how it is received by guests and to keep costs down.

Please have a look at our respective METRO/MAKRO customer websites for country specific information! Open the global navigation using the globe button at the top right corner of this website and select a METRO country of your choice.

You are offering now delivery services for your customers? Great! Some recommendations for delivering safely: Use a double security bag for delivery. The delivery man then touches the outer bag only. When delivering the order, remove the outer bag and deposit the order at the door. The bags will be taken by the sides and not by the handles. If you deliver pizzas, you can carry an empty pizza box under the full one to avoid touching it. Cash payment might become a safety challenge as well – you can make cash payment safe by setting round prices. If money needs to be changed, use a plastic or paper container for depositing money – this is the safest way!

5. Reduce energy costs!
After cost of goods and personnel costs, rent and energy costs are the largest cost factors in every company. Together with your team, ideas can be collected on how energy costs could be reduced. For example, it is helpful to switch off all unused electrical appliances or reduce water consumption to the essential within the parameters of hygiene requirements.

6. Reduced offer of food & drinks!
In order to be able to cover the operating costs, the variety of food and beverages that you offer could be reduced. Limiting the offer to meals and beverages which always sell well and at the same time have a positive effect on the operating result, you improve your profit. With good inventory planning, the well-established favourites on the menu help avoid food waste.

7. Good stock management!
When choosing dishes, using as few different products as possible reduces goods and storage costs. Nobody knows how many guests will continue to come in the next few weeks. Accordingly, stockrooms should not be unnecessarily overstocked with many different products. Focusing on fresh products attracts guests who appreciate a small selection of fresh foods. Moreover, customers are generally willing to pay a reasonable price for fresh meals.

8. Use State loans!
State loans can help restaurateurs  to compensate for lower sales in the current situation. It is advisable to draw up a financial plan before visiting the bank in order to determine the exact requirements. Please have a look into our respective METRO/MAKRO customer website for country specific information!

9. Using tax and social contribution opportunities!
Financial authorities might provide now some opportunities to reduce the financial burden in the time of crisis. The impact of COVID-19 on the hospitality sector is widely acknowledged – government is responding. So talk to your tax consultant and check your opportunities for tax deferral and reduction of the prepayment tax. Evaluate, whether a waiver of interest on arrears is possible to get. Also the impact of social and health contribution payments might be reduced. You might be eligible for deferments, instalments and reductions as well as for leniency.

10. Suspend repayments!
In order to remain financially flexible, contacting your local bank can help you request a postponement of loan repayments. A suspension of repayment means that for a certain period of time no repayment has to be made for a loan. In this case only the interest has to be paid. This means: The repayment period is extended by the suspended period. Your own bank will therefore not suffer any losses as a result of the deferral which is also of interest to the bank.

11. Defer payment of rent!
Many landlords are willing to talk, for example, when it comes to deferring rent payments. Deferring the payment of rent means that you would pay the monthly amounts at a later date. In times of crisis such issues can be dealt with openly.

Please have a look at our respective METRO/MAKRO customer websites for country specific information!

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