Five Ways for Restaurants to Thrive When Offices Reopen

Many states have eased restrictions and some businesses are starting to reopen and bring their teams back to the office. The return of high-value customers with large business orders is a big opportunity for restaurants.

Here are five ways your restaurant can make the most of the return to work.

Reinvent Your Catering Menu

Many offices are requiring individual packaging for catered food and even office snacks. The majority of ezCater orders now contain individually packaged items.

Rethink your catering menu. Instead of a sandwich tray, offer an assortment of individually packaged half-sandwiches. Instead of trays of chicken shawarma and rice, package portions separately. Label items clearly so that people don’t have to open each one to tell what it is; that defeats the purpose.

Up Your Digital Game

People can’t order from you if they can’t find you, so be everywhere including social media, Google Maps, and third-party marketplaces. Make sure your hours of operation are current and consistent on your website, social media, and your voicemail message. Merchandise new take-out procedures that will make customers feel more secure — such as curbside pickup and mask and glove requirements.

Offer online ordering on your website, and display the link prominently.

Post on social media to let people know you’re open, and include “we are open” in your social media profile header.

Deliver on Delivery

Use checklists to eliminate order mistakes. Delivery offers fewer chances for guest recovery than dine-in. Create a checklist for every item going out the door to make sure customers get exactly what they ordered.


Each office may have unique delivery requirements. Is there a receptionist or attendant you should tell your delivery person to ask for? Do they require contactless delivery, or require your deliverer to wear a mask? Find out this information beforehand and make the overall experience smoother for your driver and customer.

For contactless delivery,  coordinate a drop-off location and time with customers before the scheduled delivery time. Have your driver call or text when they are a safe distance away. Take payment digitally or over the phone, and email receipts to avoid handling paper.

Keep Your Menu Fresh

Disrupted supply chains may affect your menu. Eliminate underperforming and low-margin items, or any that have single-use ingredients, or have a short shelf life.

While you’re at it, also reconsider items that don’t travel well. With all orders off-premises, pay careful attention to how your food and packaging holds up for takeout and delivery orders.

Deliver a Stellar Customer Experience

Customer experience can make or break your brand. True hospitality and creativity will set you apart from other restaurants, so figure out how to extend their guest experience beyond their four walls.                                                             

Catering and group orders are powerful marketing tools: One person orders but dozens, and sometimes hundreds, of people enjoy it. That gives you incremental brand exposure. Great service, delicious food, and your logo front and center will leave a lasting memory for all guests.                                             

By planning ahead for how your establishment will meet the requirements of a socially distanced world, you’ll hit the ground running and make a positive impression when offices reopen.