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5 Ways Restaurants Can Survive The CoronaVirus Outbreak And Recession


Unfortunately, it is true, the restaurant industry is truly getting impacted like no tomorrow.

I have a personal friend of mine who’s actually having to close down his restaurant from Monday to Thursday because he needs to save on labor. The Coronavirus is hitting and you too should be prepared for what’s to come.

I’m going to be covering the five ways that you can survive this catastrophe and how you can overcome the recession that is about to happen.

*Disclaimer* By no means am I a health professional, nor am I a crazy economist, I’m just going to be sharing with you my personal insights, my personal takes from all my friends within the restaurant business.

Please refer to the CDC and WHO for the most accurate information.

If you’re already in the restaurant business, you’re going to feel an impact. But if you’re in the Chinese restaurant business, you’re definitely going to feel that crunch.

According to multiple media outlets out there, businesses that have gone down in sales by more than 50%. we’re talking about across all the major cities from San Francisco to New York.

5 Ways Restaurants Can Survive The CoronaVirus Outbreak And Recession 1
Source: NYPost

Even the most prestigious restaurants out there like Peninsula – their sales are down by more than 70%.

5 Ways Restaurants Can Survive The CoronaVirus Outbreak And Recession 2
Source: Global News

With the restaurant business having only 5% to 10% margins typically, we’re talking about many, many businesses, restaurants, that’s going to be going out of business.

Today, we’re going to be sharing with you the five ways you can use to survive this catastrophe.

Just to give you a little bit more context on where I’m getting my sources from is that I’m studying all the cases that are happening from ground zero, from Wuhan, so make sure you guys pay attention because in North America we only have 20 cases right now (as of March 2, 2020).

That number is only going to grow, so make sure you guys take urgency, take notes with this video, take notes with the five ways you too can survive this recession.

1.) Food Delivery As Your Core Business

The first way that you can survive the recession is to work delivery as a core of your business.

Delivery app services have been around for a while now, I cover it in-depth below of how you can take advantage of it.

I also cover in the video below about Cloud Kitchen, how the ex-CEO of Uber actually spent more than $500 million building these ghost kitchens and so on and so forth.

But for the context of this post, the reason why delivery is SO important is that people are not going out to eat because they’re afraid of getting the virus.

They’re afraid of the disease.

That’s the reason why people are not going on to eat.

Which is the reason why the first thing you should do is package your food options in delivery service options, as food delivery meal.

We’re seeing the major food brands in China doing this. We’re seeing that Starbucks, KFC, and McDonald’s doing this. And in China, they’re even doing contactless delivery options.

5 Ways Restaurants Can Survive The CoronaVirus Outbreak And Recession 3
Source: Reuters

What does that mean?

It means that they’re having these items delivered to the doorsteps with zero contact to the human that is actually delivering the service. You actually don’t have to go to that extreme for contactless delivery, but having delivery as a core of your business will help you in terms of generating extra revenue.

Bottom line: People still need to eat, people still need to consume, so if you have that as an option, you can definitely take advantage of it. If you’re already working with third-party delivery apps, make sure you take advantage of that.

Ramp up your menu so then that way it’s attractable for people to order from you.

2.) Close Down On Weekdays

5 Ways Restaurants Can Survive The CoronaVirus Outbreak And Recession 4

The second way you can survive the recession is to close down on weekdays.

Now, of course, I do not want you to close down. If you have business during the weekdays and if you can break even during those days definitely don’t close now with.

But I know a lot of my friends and peers, they are actually closing down on the weekdays to save on labor. Don’t be afraid to do so just for a short period of time.

People understand that and as long as you actually go through with option number one to work delivery as a core of your business, then you’re okay with closing down on the weekdays. Close down on the days that are not making you any money.

Reserve your ammo, reserve your time. Be patient, and don’t be afraid to bite the bullet, okay?

I’m giving you the permission to actually close down on those days and only open on the weekends so then that way your math can make sense.

If you’re not even sure if you should close on weekdays then make sure that you calculate your overhead costs per day, including your rent, including your labor, including everything on a daily basis. Then calculate how much revenue you’re actually getting in on those days to see if staying open would make you profitable or not.

If it’s not, feel free to close down on those days to reserve your time, reserve your energy until the market picks up again.

3.) Talk To Your Landlords

5 Ways Restaurants Can Survive The CoronaVirus Outbreak And Recession 5

The third way to shelter yourself from this recession is to talk to your landlords. Talk to your landlords to negotiate either cheaper rent or deferring your rental payments.

Speaking from a landlord’s perspective, the biggest fear that I have is my tenant going out of business. Because if they’re going out of business, I’m afraid that my unit would be out of commission for months on end. That means that I’m paying my mortgage out of my own pocket every single month before I find someone to fill the unit.

That’s my biggest fear.

Understanding that if my tenant was to go through some troubles, if they’ve always been paying their rent on time, they have never really caused me any trouble and I want to keep them as a tenant, I would be much more willing to even give them a month, two months, even three months free rent.

Because I know if I were to replace them, if I were to force them to be out of business, it would take me six months to find a new tenant or if not more.

Which is the reason why go out there, don’t be afraid to ask for:

  • free rent or
  • deferral in rent

Because your landlords are in the same boat as you, they are equally as afraid of you going out of business.

Several friends of mine have actually asked for an extension in their rents and they actually were able to get them.

4.) Grab & Go Meals

The fourth way to survive this recession is to repackage your food items, repackage your food items into grab and go meals.


The number one pain point when people are not visiting restaurants is because they’re fearful of getting the disease, they’re fearful of being in places with lots of people.

They want to avoid anyway, shape or form to capture that disease.

If you do not have delivery service as a core of your business, if you don’t have that, make sure you at least repackage your offering into these grab and go meals so then that way people can come in, grab their food item, and get out of there.

As I mentioned: People still need to eat.

You need to understand, people still go to work, people still go out to eat. People need to have food so if you’re able to repackage your item in a way that prevents them and minimizes their chances of contracting the disease then it is also going to be a win and it also allows you to be able to win and survive this recession.

5.) Ensure Good Hygiene

The fifth way to make sure that you guys can survive this recession is to keep proper good hygiene.

Make sure that you do everything upfront. Provide your staff with gloves, with masks, with sprays, with stuff to wipe down their tables all the time.

So then that way when people come in, when people see you guys, they would know that, hey, you know what? These owners are taking hygiene to the next level. They understand the importance of good hygiene. I feel much more comfortable eating at this place.

So make sure that you guys keep really, really good hygiene because that’s a really, really big perception issue. If you have good perception, if people see you as being a good hygienic restaurant, they have much more confidence to be able to dine at your place.

So provide and empower your staff to actually represent you, to actually show the world that you are in good standing, that you too care about other people’s hygiene.

If you put these 5 tips in place, your restaurant has a chance of surviving this recession and Coronavirus outbreak.

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