RT Vol XX: Chap 7 Strategies for Restaurant Survival During a Pandemic
From the Book: The Refractive Thinker: Vol XX: Crisis Management: Effective Business Solutions for Emergency Situations


The recent pandemic presented an opportunity for restaurants to change their business model to survive and become more efficient. Government regulations imposed on restaurants restricted hours and required social distancing resulting in lost sales and loss of jobs to millions of restaurant employees. Recently, with the onset of the 2019 pandemic, the restaurant business halted and produced job losses of over 8 million in the first six months of 2020 (Bureau of Economic Analysis, 2020). Unfortunately, the leisure and hospitality sector is vulnerable to the increasing frequency and severity of natural disasters and pandemics, which often result in substantial financial losses (Kim, Lee, & Tang, 2020). The pandemic of 2019 created a disaster for the U.S. restaurant industry as it impacted their customer base, which affected their financials and cash flow; it was considered unprecedented and filled with uncertainty (Nhamo, Dube, & Chikodzi, 2020). Grounded in resource-based view theory, the purpose of this study was to explore successful strategies restauranteurs use in periods of crisis. The participants comprised 10 restaurateurs in the Northeast United States who effectively used creative and innovative strategies to survive the pandemic. Data were collected from semistructured interviews and company social media platforms, and six themes emerged: financials, supply chain, employee retention, marketing, customer retention, and governmental support.
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