The COVID-19 is having an overwhelming effect on the restaurant industry, limiting the types of service restaurants can offer. We created this guide to transform a restaurant into a corner store, with the hopes it may help create a new source of revenue for operators.Download a PDFTélécharger le PDF
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Consider common food items and cleaning supplies that are in high demand. Identify what you want to sell as is and what you might want to sell as part of a package.
These are items that people need at home on a day-to-day basis. Here's a list of items that are disappearing quickly from grocery aisles that can be sold independently.
If you have specialty ingredients in your stock that don't often get used in meals that people make at home, consider selling them as part of a meal/cocktail kit.
What you'll need to start a meal kit service:
Reduce your menu to items that can be put together quickly in the kitchen or that your customers love and come to you for.
Pricing for commodity items will be different from pricing for meals kits and menu items.
Standard markup for grocery stores is typically between 15-40%. Some convenience service markup can be up to 100-200% depending on the product.
Standard markup for kits is 60-85% depending on whether it is a meal kit or cocktail kit.
Price these the same way you price delivered foods.
Set up or update your online store. Toast and Square offer services that connect with your current POS.
Here are some ways to reach your customers. Choose what makes the most sense for your restaurant.
Food is displayed and customers interact with the items.
You will need:
Sufficient space to allow customers to shop while making sure they can practice social distancing in the restaurant.
Time and human resources to make layout changes. Mobile furniture, shelves and re-usable containers that can serve as a display.
Sanitizers and gloves dispensers by the entrance and the checkout.
Food is delivered outside the restaurant. Customers never interact with the items.
You will need:
Resources for delivery like packaging and to-go containers.
A window at a reach for both employee and customer.
A wireless payment system/terminals if the customer is paying on-site.
Use third-party delivery partners to fulfill your orders. You can also consider providing an independent delivery service for orders placed within a reasonable distance.
You will need:
Off-premise services like GrubHub, UberEats, DoorDash, Caviar and OneDine.
A dedicated delivery driver with a car/truck.
A planned schedule for delivery.
Even if you decide not to let customers in, there are advantages to making changes to your layout that will suit your delivery process.
Whether your door is open or closed, follow these recommendations to keep your restaurant sanitary.
*From the CDC: "If surfaces are dirty, they should be cleaned using a detergent or soap and water prior to disinfection.For disinfection, diluted household bleach solutions, alcohol solutions with at least 70% alcohol, and most common EPA-registered household disinfectants should be effective."
Consider what you are serving on your menu, the type of customers that come to your restaurant and grocery store traffic patterns to determine the best hours to remain open.
You need to have the right team performing different functions now. Make sure you are aligned on the new tasks if they are now different.
Make sure you are taking precautions to keep your staff and your restaurant safe.
Consider rebranding your restaurant temporarily to include “market”, “corner store”, or “bodega” in the name.
Tell and share your story with customers and local media. Use these channels to communicate your corner store's items and other offerings on sale. Here are some resources to get you started.
Spread the word on social media
Loop in neighborhood networks, local groups and influencers.
Give discounts in return for free promotions, send free 'necessity items' with food deliveriesCosta Mesa in LA is handing out free toilet paper with takeout orders
Use Google Analytics to follow web traffic on your website and keep track of what ads and posts are creating the most traction.