Well, despite my efforts to do a blog a day this has evidently gone out the window. Unfortunately the running of the restaurant always comes first for me, and writing this blog comes behind me working the kitchen, front of house, advertising and working on any new things to keep us alive throughout this time. This being said i will now try to update it once a week or so. I am currently working on multiple things, and have recently figured out how to make videos for our advertising. This is a nice break for me as the tech things break up the monotony of each day. So what has happened since my last post?
Firstly we have moved full steam ahead with our pizza chef coming back. Our sales are up since we have closed dine in (though we are still running at less than 50% of what we were doing even with last week being our best week since closing). We are running on a very tight budget at the moment to keep all our staff employed, though once we receive the jobkeeper payment from the government this should help us significantly as long as we can maintain a reasonable level of takeaways.
We are still working on having more and more options but this is easier said than done, as some of the things that are essential to our progress have been held up for almost a month (despite us being told it was a 5 day turnaround period for them). I have been working on creating a mailing list and will try to make this weekly to coincide with the blog, though the trick with a weekly email update is making it worthwhile for the customer, and not just to blast them with sales and whatnot.
In regards to our landlord they have been very supportive, and the last thing we want to do is take advantage of them or this situation. They have been essential in allowing us to keep trading, and this is something that we do not take lightly, and something that we desperately are going to try and repay in kind through loyalty and support to them.
Finally I have been looking into expansion of the restaurant. When I set this up just under a year ago the plan was always to open a second restaurant in under 2 years. Up until COVID we were on track to do this, and even though this is still on the cards depending on how long this lasts it is going to be significantly more difficult. When I set this up the idea was to have a restaurant that serves the customers and staff equally, and is built around the local community. In the news recently it has been said that Critinis had gone out of business, though I do not wish failure upon anybody a restaurant that only has premium locations and fills them with expensive cars and fit outs rather than putting that money towards improving the quality of their service and supporting their staff somewhat sets themselves up for failure. As they say pride comes before the fall, and time and time again we have seen this in hospitality. I frequently see restaurants (like SASH) boast about their expensive fit-outs and edgy new locations and always aimed to set up a restaurant chain that instead puts all their money and effort to always improving the quality of what they sell both in food and service. Our idea has always been to find already fit out restaurants that are unsuccessful, and reviving them. In particular restaurants that are in a perfect position to serve the local communities rather than those who serve tourists (though we still wish to be welcoming to everybody) and themselves. During this outbreak there has been a large amount of these restaurants going on sale, and I would imagine that this number is only going to increase. Though there is a long way to go and we have a long way to go in surviving the outbreak, if we do I have been looking into ways to finance our expansion to at least one other location over the next year and a half. I feel that the perfect opportunity will come once this outbreak is over, and people will need a friendly local restaurant to go to. I will expand more on my ideas and vision for the restaurant in these blog posts, but hope that as we move along we can become fully sustainable even while doing takeaway only and I can begin to put some of these plans into motion. Right now my only priority is keep my staff employed and our customers fed, but as this strange situation becomes more of the norm I can hopefully begin to focus my efforts on once again building a foundation for a great local restaurant chain.
Hoping you are all staying safe, and I will make sure to keep this updated more often. Below is an example of the videos I have been making, though quite average at least it provides me a brief escape from the ongoing stress of running a restaurant at this time.