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Navigating 2021: A Guide for Restaurants Amidst the COVID Challenges

Cover Image for Server in prep area with patrons dining on the left side
By Ryne Estwing

There is no doubt about it: the restaurant landscape changed dramatically during Covid. We saw a rise in pop-up concepts, outdoor dining, and specialty takeout. With the world reopening, the industry will continue to evolve. This is your guide to thriving in 2021 and beyond.

Unique Experiences are Here to Stay. Restaurants were forced to get creative when the pandemic hit. Now, it will be vital to maintain creative and unique experiences for your guests. These are not limited to at-home experiences. Come up with some unique offerings in your dining room, at special tables, and on quieter days during the week. We’re seeing curated cocktail flights, whole duck dinners, themed brunches, and so much more. Use these experiences to drive revenue during non-peak hours.
Add Ons. As guests are reuniting with friends and family, they’re looking for delicious ways to celebrate. Offer special upgrades: a bottle of champagne on the table, a unique ingredient, and shared plates. It doesn’t need to be fancy. From special platters to unique drinks, do what you do best.
Navigating 2021
Take Deposits. Now more than ever, guests are willing to pay a deposit when booking a table. Even a nominal deposit of $5 can massively decrease no-shows, not to mention restaurants also report providing superior hospitality when they can prepare for these guests. See some examples and read more about deposits here.
Navigating 2021
Party Packages. Sell out your bar, PDR, special tables and experiences with pre-paid or deposit-based packages. Whether you’re operating a casual sports bar with bottomless brunch or a fine dining restaurant, selling packages is one of the best ways to drive the check average. From intimate experiences to full buy-outs, packages streamline operations and provide a special experience for your guests.
Waitlist. Use Tock’s waitlist feature to keep your dining room full. Guests on your waitlist will be notified of any cancelations or openings and can directly book. When guests use the waitlist, you can contact them about future experiences, events, merch, and bookings.
Navigating 2021
Supplemental Carryout. Keep your takeout operations going. Continue to offer a concise menu of easy dishes that travel well, in addition to creative specials. Diners are still looking for at-home experiences, batched beverages, and dinner kits—especially for holidays and special occasions. This all adds up to your bottom line.
Events. With Tock, you can offer events alongside reservations and takeout. Take your special experience to the next level by making it a one-time or recurring event.
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