As we continue to monitor the updates regarding the COVID-19 and the impact that it is having in our industry, we at Antares Group have put together a checklist of things that you may want to consider. As you know, circumstances are changing daily. We will continue to monitor the situation and keep you advised about the best strategies to weather this unique storm.
Please take a look at the list and if you have any questions, do not hesitate to contact us.
Coronavirus Checklist for Restaurant Owners
- Rethink upcoming reinvestment projects beyond April. If you can, postpone any MRP, EOTF/lobby remodels or MOD C’s as far into the future as possible.
- Check with your local governmental agency as construction may have been halted for a period of time.
- Contact banks and ask for a minimum of 3 to 6 months “interest only” payments.
- Request working capital Lines of Credit.
- Refinance at lower rates if possible. consider asking for relief on breakage fees.
- Negotiate bank fees, especially with local banks.
- Review G&A and see where there is any room to cut down.
- Check on deliveries. You may not need as much food delivered as before.
- Reduce any recurring, unnecessary expenses.
- Think about reducing hours of operations.
- Talk to McDonald’s regions about your situation and plans going forward. Keep them abreast of your compromised cash position. Over-communicating is a good thing right now.
- Pay bills when due, not early.
- Inquire with your insurance carrier about business interruption proceeds.
- UberEats is offering relief to restaurants, including daily payouts.
- Grubhub is waiving the commission it receives from independent restaurants
- Check with your delivery partner on what help they may be providing.
- Can any of your employees help in the delivery process? Are you insured to allow this to happen?
- Begin short-term loyalty programs to drive “drive-thru” sales. For example, if you visit our drive-thru for three consecutive days or 5 days in a week we will give you a “XXX.”
- Provide customers at the drive-thru with a coupon that says, “come back tomorrow” and get a small fry with the purchase of “XXX.”
LOCAL GOVERNMENT EFFORTS
Get in touch with your local restaurant associations to find out what requests they may have of your local or state government to provide assistance to restaurateurs.
These may include:
- Meals/sales/use tax relief for a period of time;
- Streamlining the Unemployment Insurance process;
- States may be looking to increase the maximum payments to individuals;
- Potential expansion of the jobs credit program to employers;
- Expansion of the investment tax credit to include all hospitality and retail companies; and
Creation of a state version of the employee retention credit, an income tax credit for certain employers in federal disaster areas who continue to pay their employees during periods in which their businesses are inoperable.