In the QSR industry, restaurant remodels are inevitable. Your brand is always looking to stay relevant in the eyes of your customers, and that sometimes means changing the look of your stores. But a restaurant remodel can deter customers from visiting. So, how do you maintain business throughout the project?
Here are some tips to keep your customers coming back even during a remodel.
1. Communicate with your customers
While a restaurant remodel will ultimately help attract new customers, it’s important that you communicate the upcoming project with your existing customers. Let them know that you're planning to remodel, reassure them that you'll still be open, inform them of any driving or parking changes, and talk about the new look. The more excited you make your customers to see the finished product, the more likely they are to stick around during construction.
2. Contain the construction
Remodeling is a messy job. But the mess needs to be contained especially because you're dealing with food. Make sure you have the right barriers (signs, containment walls, and tape) to secure your construction area. You might want to pay for soundproof barriers to give your customers a peaceful mealtime.
It's also important to train staff to use extra precautions when handling food and navigating the store. There will be a lot of materials and tools in your restaurant but cleanliness is crucial. And you also want to avoid employee injuries on the job.
Don't forget to check that your HVAC system is in working order, too. It's important that your store is well ventilated throughout the project. After all, most people probably don't appreciate the smell of wet paint while they eat.
If the construction impedes on your office, make sure to relocate your records to a secure and uninterrupted location. Your safe may need to be relocated temporarily as well. Be sure to move it to a low traffic area, kept in full view of cameras. Consider bolting it to the floor, even if for a short while. You can never be too careful!
There will be countless new faces working in your space and a lot of misplaced items. You don't want to run the risk of exposing confidential documents. The more prepared you are overall, the smoother the renovation process will be.
3. Remodel after hours
OK, so you may have to pay more for this idea. But an unconventional work schedule will provide the least distractions possible for your customers and employees, which, ultimately, gives you peace of mind. Think early morning or late night.
Not only can your customers enjoy a meal without the loud noises of construction, but your contractors can also work more efficiently because they don't need to worry about noise levels or carefully navigating your store during business hours.
4. Offer your customers small courtesy discounts
No one likes dealing with construction. It's messy, noisy, and inconvenient. Give your customers a reason to visit by offering a freebie or courtesy renovation discount. It's a small gesture, but it can go a long way at maintaining customers during a difficult time.
Remodeling your restaurant is one of the best ways to attract and keep customers, but if you don't take the necessary precautions, you could end up losing business. As you know, your restaurant is more than a meal, it's an experience.