Devastated by the pandemic, restaurants have either closed their doors or started to pivot their business models to create new revenue streams. Over the past year, we have discussed ways restaurants are creatively staying open, from take-home meal kits to unique outdoor dining setups. But what restaurants are actually succeeding? 


What restaurants need to focus on now is finding new business models that will stick through the pandemic and after. Let’s take a look at some of the successful business models restaurants have created.

Nan Xiang Xiao Long Bao

The Queens restaurant took their star of the show, soup dumplings, and did one simple thing: froze them. Before the pandemic, the Chinese eatery may not have considered this stream of revenue. Now, however, they are giving their customers the opportunity to make the “best soup dumplings in NYC” in the comfort of their home. Customers can order 30 or 50 frozen dumplings for takeout or delivery.

Not only is this new business model great for customers who love their star dumplings, but it is also a great way to save product and money and avoid food waste.

David Chang’s Momofuku

What better way to bring your restaurant’s signature flavor to your customers’ homes than with your very own collection of spices? David Chang and the Momofuku culinary lab launched a seasoned salt pack with three different blends, including Spicy, Savory, and Tingly. Now, customers can experience Momofuku in a whole new way – at home.

This business model will help keep customers returning to Momofuku, either for more product or to experience Momofuku in person once the pandemic ends and restaurants are allowed to reopen at full capacity. Bringing the flavor into the homes of consumers will keep your restaurant at the forefront of their minds. You’re not just at their homes for the night – you’re in their spice cabinet!


Since the start of the pandemic, Manhattan sushi restaurant Kissaki has been thriving due to business decisions that put them in a positive position and kept their restaurant thriving. Some of these business techniques included importing fish directly from Japan, offering a takeout-friendly menu, and the most impressive, investing in sushi-making robots!

The robots were beneficial in more ways than one, such as cutting labor costs, keeping employees safe during the height of the virus, and establishing an efficient way to make sushi.

Final Thoughts

Of course, technology such as sushi-making robots may not be financially feasible for some restaurant businesses. What’s important to learn here is that your restaurant can think outside the box. Start to brainstorm new business ideas and consider business model pivots that may seem unattainable at first but could potentially benefit you in the long run. Don’t be afraid to be imaginative.