Delivering When it Matters
Quick-service restaurants in coronavirus times. The pandemic has hit many quick-service restaurants (QSRs) hard. Here’s how they can respond to the crisis and prepare for what comes next. As the crisis subsides, all QSRs must prepare for the coming shifts, in consumer mindsets and behavior, that will shape the industry’s next normal. QSRs need an operating model that can accommodate the extreme level of uncertainty facing the industry. Two practical steps they can take to guide their decision making are to launch a “plan-ahead team” and to direct that team to work across multiple time horizons. The QSR business, by definition, is about serving customers at speed. We believe that if QSRs act quickly in this crisis to meet the changing needs of consumers while prioritizing people’s health and well-being, QSRs can not only withstand these difficult times but also build valuable capabilities for resilience and success in the future.
Mother’s Day is Still an Opportunity
For restaurant sales. Typically, Mother’s Day is the most lucrative holiday of the year for operators, with millions of families dining at restaurants. According to National Restaurant Association research in 2018, approximately 87 million adults said they would dine out on Mother’s Day. That, of course, is under normal circumstances. Things are anything but normal now, so customers are looking for new ways to celebrate the special day and restaurants are answering the call. Although many are operating takeout-and-delivery only under the nation’s stay-at-home orders, there are ways to capitalize on the holiday.
Crowds Formed at Taquerias for Cinco de Mayo
Forcing police action. On Tuesday evening, some people lined up outside of restaurants in an orderly fashion, but at others, police came to disperse large groups of customers and delivery workers who filled sidewalks. A large group formed outside Mole in the West Village, half delivery workers and the other half waiting for takeout with margaritas, turning nearby Abingdon Square Park into a de facto open-air bar. Donna in South Williamsburg, usually a quiet scene outside, had a long line of more than a dozen people. Small groups of customers collected around Sunset Park’s Tacos El Bronco food truck on Fifth Avenue, with orders taking far longer than usual. And Chelsea Market’s Los Tacos No. 1 and Los Mariscos, both open again for the first time since the pandemic closure, sold out close to 7 p.m., sending a line of disappointed patrons home without tacos.
7 Things You’ll Never See
At McDonald’s ever again. In at least one way the most recognizable restaurant on earth was financially prepared for the COVID-19 pandemic. Over the course of the last year, McDonald’s had spent hundreds of millions of dollars upgrading their drive-through service, having installed advanced new digital menus and even cameras that can read license-plate numbers and result in tailored ordering suggestions for individual customers. Before the virus hit, drive-through service represented 70 percent of the fast food chain’s revenue. Since then, those window-to-car sales—though still fraught with fear among employees and customers alike—have buoyed the Golden Arches’ business.
Did You Know?
Wells Fargo faces government probes into its PPP loans. Wells Fargo on Tuesday disclosed that federal and state authorities are investigating its lending practices under a key small business relief effort to combat the economic damage from the novel coronavirus. Wells Fargo has come under fire for its limited participation in the government’s small business relief program. Just days after the program launched last month, the company announced it would no longer accept applications, in part because the Federal Reserve had capped how many loans it could make as punishment for past banking practices.
Weekly mortgage applications show real recovery in homebuying, as interest rates set another record low. Homebuyers appear to be heading slowly back into the market, as the coronavirus-stricken economy begins to reopen. Total mortgage application volume rose 0.1% last week compared with the previous week, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association’s seasonally adjusted index. The gain was driven entirely by buyers. Buyers are responding to incredibly low interest rates as well as to new technology and processes that allow them to house-hunt from afar. Agents are offering virtual showings or live tours over apps like Facetime or Zoom.
Working from home has benefits some don’t want to lose. Fans of online work worry that they — and the country itself — will lose important benefits discovered during this unprecedented experiment in mass remote work. People who have never liked schmoozing with colleagues have found new heights of productivity away from meetings and office chitchat. People worried about climate change are eager to reduce their carbon footprints by avoiding commutes by car. And while many parents are desperate for schools and day care centers to reopen, some working parents are appreciating more time with their children. At least one poll from early in the pandemic suggests a strong preference for remote work. Gallup found that almost 60 percent of Americans working from home would prefer to work remotely “as much as possible” after restrictions are lifted, with 40 percent saying they preferred to return to the workplace.
Bielat Santore & Company – Restaurant Industry Daily Alerts
New restaurant industry survey. Beginning next Wednesday, May 6th, Bielat Santore & Company will conduct a survey of restaurant owners and operators throughout the NY-NJ-PA metropolitan area, emphasizing the challenges the industry is facing during COVID-19 pandemic.
The firm will donate $1 dollar for every valid survey response it receives to the Independent Restaurant Coalition (IRC). The Independent Restaurant Coalition was formed to save the local restaurants affected by COVID-19. “Our firm is committed to working with the active community of restauranteurs and hospitality operators, many of whom are our clients, to help with the rescue and reopening of their industry,” states Richard Santore, Partner in Bielat Santore & Company.
Look for the survey to appear in next Wednesday’s Restaurant Industry Daily Alert, as well as on the company’s website at www.123bsc.com/news/ and Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/123BSC/ In addition to the company’s monetary donation, if enough survey responses are submitted, Bielat Santore & Company will publish a comprehensive report compiling the results of the survey for distribution.
A voice for our industry. If you are finding these daily bulletins informative and beneficial during this pandemic, we kindly ask that you write a brief Google review providing a vote of your appreciation. Simply Google “Bielat Santore & Company” and when the company name appears click the button on the right to write your review or; if you don’t use Gmail, go to Google Maps, type “Bielat Santore & Company” – Allenhurst, NJ into Google Maps; scroll down and you will see an option to leave a review.
Thank you and remember all of the “Restaurant Industry Alerts” and “Thursday Restaurant Rap” interviews can be found at www.123bsc.com/news/. We intend to continue to keep you informed as we all look for an end to this crisis.