5 Reasons Why Your Restaurant is Struggling—and What You Can Do About It

5 Reasons Why Your Restaurant is Struggling—and What You Can Do About It

• Your restaurant is struggling because people are unwilling to dine in: Offer delivery or takeout and make sure your online presence is strong.

• Your restaurant isn’t advertising enough: Hire a professional to help you create an effective marketing strategy.

• Your restaurant doesn’t offer any deals or promotions: Run discounts on menu items, referral bonuses, and happy hour specials.

• Your menu isn’t up-to-date: Add some healthier options to your menu, and promote them online and in-store.

• Your restaurant isn’t safe enough: Follow CDC guidelines for cleaning, sanitizing and employee safety, and more.

The pandemic has been hard on everyone—but perhaps no one more so than restaurant owners. It’s estimated that 90,000 restaurants closed permanently when the pandemic hit and many restaurants have been struggling to stay afloat today. If your restaurant is one of them, you might be wondering what you can do to turn things around. Here are five possible reasons why your restaurant is struggling—and what you can do about each one.

No Delivery or Takeout

If you’re not offering delivery or takeout, you’re missing out on a huge chunk of the market. In a recent study, respondents said they would be unwilling to dine in at a restaurant even after the pandemic ends if the restaurant does not offer delivery or takeout.

Offering delivery or takeout doesn’t have to be complicated or expensive—in fact, there are plenty of third-party delivery services that will do all the work for you. All you need to do is sign up and start taking orders.

No Online Presence

These days, having an online presence is essential for any business—restaurants included. If potential customers can’t find your website or social media page, they’ll likely take their business elsewhere. Here are some tips to increase your online presence:

Designing a website for restaurant

Build a Website

You might think that your restaurant doesn’t need a website, but having one is actually crucial. Your website should include the basics: menus, hours of operation, contact information, and location. Additionally, you’ll want to add photos, promotional content (like coupons or discounts), and customer reviews.

Social Media

Create social media accounts for your restaurant across all major platforms. Use these accounts to post updates, promotions, and other content that will engage your customers. Moreover, you can post pictures of your food to tantalize people’s taste buds.

Lack of Advertising

Advertising your restaurant online and in traditional media outlets is an excellent way to reach potential customers. Consider hiring a professional to help you with this. A reliable advertising agency can help you develop an effective marketing strategy that takes into account your restaurant’s goals and budget. This can make a huge difference in getting more customers to your business.

Lack of Deals or Promotions

In these tough economic times, people are looking for deals and promotions more than ever before. If your restaurant isn’t offering any, you could be missing out on business.

Running a promotion doesn’t have to be complicated or expensive—a simple discount on certain menu items can go a long way toward attracting new customers. Just make sure to promote your deals and promotions online and in-store so potential customers are aware of them. Here are some promotions you should definitely run in your restaurant:


One way to bring in new business is to offer a referral bonus—give existing customers a discount if they refer your restaurant to their friends and family.

Happy Hours

Another great way to drive business is by offering happy hour specials. Consider creating a special menu with discounted drinks and appetizers for customers who come in during off-peak hours. This can help you boost sales during times when business is typically slow.

Chef cooking at restaurant

Outdated Menu

People’s eating habits have changed drastically since the pandemic began—and if your menu hasn’t changed with them, it could be one of the reasons why your restaurant is struggling. Nowadays, people are looking for healthy, affordable options they can feel good about eating. If your menu is heavy on unhealthy junk food or expensive steak dinners, it might be time for an overhaul. Adding some healthier options to your menu can attract new customers and help increase sales.

Unsafe Restaurant

With health concerns top of mind for many people these days, it’s more important than ever to make sure your restaurant is clean and safe for customers and employees alike. If people don’t feel safe dining in your restaurant, they won’t hesitate to take their business elsewhere. Make sure you’re following all CDC guidelines for cleaning and sanitizing, and that employees are washing their hands regularly and wearing masks at all times while working. You might also want to consider investing in contactless payment options like Apple Pay or Google Pay to further reduce the risk of exposure to germs.

Your restaurant doesn’t have to struggle during the pandemic—there are plenty of things you can do to turn things around. Consider the five possible reasons above and take steps to address them so your restaurant can thrive in this challenging time. Once you do, you’ll be well on your way to success.

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