Why every independent restaurant needs a disaster recovery plan?
Restaurants thrive when their goods are sold – it’s not rocket science. You order an inventory of goods, it is received, and it should be sold as soon as possible so the inventory doesn’t spoil. However, when a situation, event, or circumstance impedes the sale of some part of the inventory or the entire inventory of goods, the business fails to turn a profit, struggles and sometimes is forced to close. Therefore, it’s so important for every independent restaurant to plan and prepare for those situations, events or circumstances that can cause a business disruption, crisis, or disaster. Taking deliberate action can make the difference between a smooth recovery process or a terrifying struggle to stay alive after the event.
Franchises and big restaurant management corporations know this, even when sometimes we might think the opposite. They know that for every hour, day or week their restaurant is interrupted, the cost of recovery increases and so they plan to avoid delaying the recovery phase. They open for business fast, even with limited services, meaning they not only recover but capitalize on independent restaurants’ downtime. I saw this with my own eyes after Hurricane Georges in my hometown. While mom and pop’s restaurants struggle to re-open, big restaurants made more sales than in previous months. Why? They are the only option; everyone is obligated to eat there. It is a matter of recovering quickly and securing the future of your business.
So, let’s review some benefits of having a disaster recovery plan:
- Systems and technology fails –maybe you didn’t qualify these events as disasters but when your systems are down, or technology fails, it is tough to continue normal operations. A simple issue can cause you to lose clients, sales, and profits. Once your business is not bringing in profits, the situation could escalate from a simple interruption to a major A disaster preparedness and recovery plan will help you identify the issues before they become a major inconvenience.
- Human error– as business owners, we must consider the fact that people make Maybe someone unplugged the fridge or shut down the walking cooler. Mistakes happen, and a single error can cause losses and potential legal action. If we prepare for these events and plan how to recover from them, the consequences of human error will be contained and minimized.
- Natural disasters- whether is a storm, tornado, hurricane, earthquake or severe weather, plenty of circumstances can cause a business interruption. These are all natural events we cannot control. However, identifying your risks and having a preparedness and response plan can make a difference. It can make a difference between a smooth recovery or a real struggle to survive.
- Lessen the impact of cyber threats as hacking and keep customers’ data safe – nowadays, we are all target of potential data attacks and hacking. We are also the ones responsible for the safety of our customers’ data. A risk identification and monitoring solution will help your business respond and recover quickly. These actions will also help your business maintain customers’ trust and avoid reputation damage as your business takes proactive action to protect their information.
Even though this well-known secret is not often discussed on restaurant forums, having a disaster recovery plan can make the difference between temporary downtime or a permanent closure. Now that you know the importance of having a plan, let’s work on a solution. While every restaurant is different, start by:
- Identifying your potential risks.
- Finding potential solutions and selecting those that make sense for your business.
- Drafting a plan, by creating strategies to prepare, respond and recover.
- Communicating the plan to your staff and team.
- Practicing the plan and identifying areas for improvement.
- Correcting the areas for improvement and practicing again until everyone knows what to do.
No one really wants to think of a disaster, or even worse, your business closing because it was not able to recover, but it happens. It is estimated that after a major interruption, 40% will re-open, but the rest of the businesses in a disaster area will never re-open. However, you must be prepared to re-open with a strategy. Otherwise it will be a long struggle trying to survive. I was one of those who dealt with a long struggle to end up closing my business anyways. That’s why I want to help you avoid the pain and suffering of seeing your business struggle to the point of no return.
I have created free resources for those who want to start developing their plans. Visit my the Consulting page or book a free call with me. During the call, we will discuss the current state of your business, and I will give you a road map to help you plan for disasters.
This post was originally published on LinkedIn pulse. You can find the original article here: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/why-every-independent-restaurant-needs-disaster-plan-pagan-phd-