Jan 31, 2021
Here’s a Step-by-Step Guide to a Successful Re-Opening - January Newsletter
Julissa Merius

Re-opening is happening fast and swiftly like a bolt of light out of nowhere. The news ripped through California on Tuesday; small business owners can officially re-open outdoor seating.

California is a state that COVID-19 ravaged, leaving over 35,000 immortalized. The good news is:

a vaccine is slowly rolling out, a positive sign that many other restrictions will soon follow.

Theme parks like SeaWorld, Safari Park, and San Diego Zoo announced re-opening plans right after the stay-at-home mandate was lifted and New Jersey, a state known for a tough COVID governor: Phil Murphy, relaxed its rules on in-person high school sporting events.

The canceled stay-at-home orders signal something small business owners have been holding their breath for. The end of a pandemic firmly, maybe a little hazily, but perfectly in sight.

Here’s a Step-by-Step Guide to a Successful Re-Opening:

Step 1

Create Outdoor Seating

Outdoor seating should be on the top of your carefully curated “Must Haves” list for re-opening. The loosening of government intervention occurs in stages, and outdoor seating is perching next-in-line after takeout/delivery.

Regardless of government ruling, it will be months or many years before people are comfortable sitting in a crowded space indoors. Over 35 states allow outdoor/indoor seating so far, but many consumers still prefer to sit outside.

Step 2

Use Tech

At the center point of re-opening is reinvention. This is an opportunity for you to turn your business around and follow through on all the current innovations in your industry. Things are changing in 2021 and in an effort to make reintegration quick and efficient while remaining remote consider implementing some Tech.

Step 3:

Consider Bringing Back Laid Off Employees

In this article by the Hollywood Reporter, Los Angeles restaurant owners voice the same concerns regarding re-opening: not being given enough time to hire back essential employees.

An essential aspect of re-opening is knowing what staff you’re going to invite back and whether your best employees are still available.

States in the purple tier of re-opening in California allow retail stores to open at 25% more capacity. Expect incremental increases in capacity that will require more workers.

Quick note:

Some business owners are considering hiring only vaccinated workers; others are not; what is your business’s stance on vaccinations? This thought should be something to consider as you make your list of who you will hire back.

Step 4:

Plan to Re-Open Without A Warning

Unfortunately, figures in the dining and retail industry are mainly shut-out regarding the drafting of legislation that affects them. Many restaurant owners expressed frustration at the lack of warning that was afforded to them before California re-opened. “Re-opening is not as easy as flipping a light”, this is true for most small business owners regardless of where.

Re-opening a restaurant takes perfect planning, and the lack of warning from lawmakers continues to disrupt fatigued restaurant owners everywhere.

Akasha from Richmond Restaurant, Executive Chef Travis Strickland, John Secretan (founder and owner of Zinc Café & Market in the Arts District) all share the same sentiment throughout their interview with the Hollywood Reporter:

Re-opening has been a roller coaster that they can not predict and it’s hard to do it without warning.

Nonetheless, don’t expect much notice at all from government officials about when it’s time to re-open so

Last Step:

Stock Up

Customers dash to their favorite restaurants minutes after the restrictions in California are lifted. Most restaurant owners expressed the sentiment that if they could open immediately, they would. However, with the last-minute news, they didn’t have time to prepare. If you are looking to re-open with speed, then your inventory must reflect that goal. Even if there isn’t an announcement on the new regulation, be sure to foresight an increase in customers. Frustrated owners expressed dismay that re-opening could happen so swiftly without any warning. Save yourself the headache and be prepared.

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Finally,

The politics involved in re-opening is why some business owners have chosen to stick to their re-opening plan, regardless of what regulations lift early.

Maybe this is you! Perhaps you have a perfect re-opening plan for March, as restrictions begin to lift in February. That’s okay! Consider keeping that plan in place if it’s already in an excellent organizational place and ready to go with staff / planned inventory.

Have a re-opening strategy worthy of sharing? Write back to us, and tell us how you’re coping up! Thanks for reading! 👋

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