The unpredictability of owning a restaurant during quarantine

It should be no surprise that the recent pandemic has caused many stores to close down due to virus spread. Restaurant owners’ have had a plethora of decisions regarding their business, such as whether to shut down, lay off employees to keep them and others safe, or sacrifice cost for customer satisfaction and safety. 


Whether to close or keep the business running has been one of the main problems of this COVID pandemic. Some restaurants that kept their doors open have suffered massive financial losses, due to spending money but not gaining enough profit to keep their employees or to keep the business up and running. Property fees haven’t exactly helped these businesses either. Landowners are still charging businesses even though they have closed down and beating a dead horse. The COVID 19 pandemic has shown it can be deadly, and almost ruin a store/restaurant’s reputation and income based on how safe it is, or how many cases of COVID there have been.

On the other hand, some restaurants have prospered during this time. Places like Papa John’s, Wing Stop, Wendy’s, or other fast-food restaurants that provide delivery services to your door have made money due to this pandemic. While the number of people stays the same, but the availability of other restaurants are slowly ceasing, people have been compressed into eating places that provide contact-free pickup or delivery. Delivery systems such as Grubhub and UberEats have seen a dramatic increase in users. Papa John’s had even set aside a whopping 2.5 million dollars to give employees bonuses during the 2020 Christmas Season. 


Restaurants have also had to consider paying more money to keep their customers safe. Many restaurants and businesses have prioritized customer satisfaction and safety as their number one priority, and yet only a few are living up to their status quo. 

While some restaurants have tried to spend as little money as possible to make the most profit, these restaurants have almost always ended up failing because of a lack of loyal customers. Prices have been increased to make up for the fewer customers during the pandemic, causing people to go to these particular restaurants even less. Restaurants that have upped their prices tend to see a decrease in customers, which is crucial for restaurants to survive this pandemic without having to close down. 

On the other hand, restaurants that put customer satisfaction first will tend to see a decrease in profit for the first couple of weeks or months, but as time goes on, these restaurants will have gained enough popularity to last it through the pandemic without any financial losses. Restaurants that put customer safety first have been praised by Local Public Health Departments, and have received decent marks in the Restaurant Inspections and Ratings. 


Altogether, people who own a restaurant can assume a hit-or-miss scenario; either they make it out of this pandemic alive, ready to start serving customers to their fullest potential and satisfaction, or shut down and have to close the restaurant.