With many restaurants still facing restricted service around the country, restaurant owners are starting to get creative with ways they can sustain business and remain profitable.  While many restaurants have maintained takeout operations as permitted, others have begun entirely new business models that solve problems for their business, their patrons, and even their suppliers. 



 Interested in how your restaurant can generate business during the shutdown? Below are restaurants that used creative ideas you can incorporate into your establishment.




In California, one San Francisco restaurant, Prairie, has transformed itself into a neighborhood grocery store of sorts. Offering gourmet foods to customers, they serve as an upscale convenience store. This not only provides a valuable service to the community, as many face food shortages, it also helps the restaurant sell off an excess of products that they’re not using due to lack of dine-in customers.


Another idea working for Prairie that may also work for your restaurant is family meal kits, kits which include all the ingredients to create restaurant-favorite dishes at home. Best of all, Prairie creates corresponding videos to go with the food – so customers can prepare the food just as the restaurant would, from the comfort of their own home.


The Heyday


In Southern California, a pop-up restaurant called The Heyday got creative and set up to-go service at a local hotel. The pop-up, which normally served burgers at street fairs and sporting events, was able to hire new staff to help meet the demand of eager customers. 




Another restaurant, Trio in Palm Springs, California, found another way to help the community by pairing up with local farmers to sell subscription produce boxes to local customers. This helps farmers with an excess of produce, all the while offering customers fresh local produce they may not be able to find in stores.


Additional Creative Ideas For Your Restaurant

Across the country, many restaurants are offering mixed drink kits to-go with food orders, or even offering bottled wine discounts with the purchase of takeout meals. This helps sell an excess of alcohol and helps customers get the full dining experience, taking the guesswork out of wine pairings.  

Another great idea is offering pre-cooked family dinners. With a choice of main courses, sides, and even dessert, these customizable packages can feed a family of two or four for a fixed price, eliminating the need for your patrons to have to turn on the stove on a hot summer night.

Final Thoughts

Finally, patio service and socially distanced indoor dining is always an option where permitted. While some consumers are still wary of dining out, many are ready to dine out again and will welcome the opportunity to dine with you in whatever capacity you can offer!