Yes, the Corona crisis is not making life any easier for us. However, as you could read in the last post “What to do on Sundays at home (while quarantine)” and “What to do on Sundays outside (while quarantine)”, we are very optimistic about the current circumstances. We are happy if we can help others. That is precisely why this article is about restaurants in Munich during Corona and how they can be protected from bankruptcy. We take on the following topics: Why restaurants have to file for insolvency, What restaurateurs can do against bankruptcy and Who can still save (Munich) restaurants from bankruptcy.
Why restaurants go bankrupt
Regulations for restaurateurs
That the Corona crisis cannot really be beneficial for restaurateurs is obvious. But why exactly is turnover in restaurants still falling steadily?
At the moment we are in the second lockdown during the Christmas holidays. Since 16 December 2020, the new version of the Bavarian Infection Protection Measures Ordinance has been in force, which requires the temporary closure of restaurants.
Changeover for restaurateurs
The Corona Restriction requires a major, unprecedented change for restaurants. The change is called “Take Away” & Delivery Service. For some restaurant operators, this change is not a big issue, as they were mainly delivering food even before the pandemic. However, this only applies to a handful of Munich restaurants. For the majority of restaurant operators, this changeover or digitalisation is an immense challenge.
Urgency for restaurateurs
The suggestions listed below for putting a restaurant online are, in my opinion, crucial for the survival of the gastronomic scene.
Only last week we got in touch with the owner of an Italian restaurant in Sendling (Munich). The somewhat older Italian told us that he had not been able to sell a single pizza, pasta or salad the day before. And if it goes on like this, he will have to close his shop by the end of next week. But is that really necessary?
Munich without restaurants
Imagine a Munich without middle-class, rustic, old restaurants. A Munich without the old Italian restaurant at the Isartor, without the Giesinger Br.ustüberl, without the old Straubinger inn in the city centre. Unimaginable!
So how do we prevent this tragedy?
What restaurateurs can do against bankruptcy
Lieferando – Delivery service
Let’s start with the best-known delivery service in Germany.
An article in the Süddeutsche Zeitung interviewed Hüseyin Fidan, a pizza baker from Siegen. He calculated his income from the sale of a pizza via a well-known delivery service as follows:
“If someone orders a pizza from him for ten euros, 13 per cent of that goes directly to Lieferando, plus VAT, around two euros, go directly to the taxman, the goods cost 2.50 euros to buy, and of the rest that then remains, a large part goes for staff costs. “All in all, with every pizza for ten euros, maybe one euro of profit remains after deducting the costs”, – Süddeutsche Zeitung – “Ganz schön ausgeliefert” (Quite at a mercy)
Delivery services like Lieferando are a must-have for any catering business thanks to their high profile and straightforward set-up.
As can be seen, the disadvantage here is the high fees incurred by selling via the platform.
Social Media Profiles – Create/Maintain
This point is still overlooked by many restaurant operators.
As people become afraid to step outside their front door, they turn to Virtual Streets to find a new and delicious snack. By virtual streets, we mean popular social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn. Under this, customers can find out about Corona updates, menu, opening hours and also interact with the restaurant via the chat function. With these profiles, you don’t have to post every day, but it is important to keep the platforms in sync with your restaurant.
I think I speak for many when I say that a conservative, unmaintained social media profile, with outdated opening hours, makes me want to call to order from this restaurant.
There are already Munich-based start-ups such as Gastronomy Online, which have taken on the task of helping restaurateurs to build up a social media presence at low cost.
Google Maps and search engine optimisation
Sounds more difficult than it actually is. It doesn’t take much to be found on the Google page. However, if you want to be found high up in search terms such as “Pizzeria Munich”, or “Italian restaurant nearby”, you not only need your own Google My Business account but also search engine optimisation of Google Maps posts. The prerequisite for this is, of course, your own website.
In this way, the customer is shown the best optimised Google Maps contributions. By clicking on the preview, the customer has the opportunity to take a closer look at the website or to contact the restaurant and place an order directly by clicking on the “Call” button.
How can you support too?
So, to best help your favourite restaurant, you should order directly from the restaurant. Ideally, the restaurant already has its own ordering system. Otherwise, you should call to avoid the commission.
Advantages of a website with an ordering system
The customer can see the product in advance
70 per cent of Germans have already visited a restaurant after being convinced by food and restaurant pictures in advance. In Austria and Switzerland, the figure is almost 90 per cent. The same is even more true for online orders.
Order processing contains fewer errors
When ordering online, the customer takes care of every aspect of the order, from extra requests to health-related substitutions and every change in between. So when orders are placed through an automated web or app-based interface, there is no risk of service staff overlooking an important element of the order. If customers get exactly what they order every time, it can only lead to better ratings, reviews and repeat business.
Online orders are more popular than telephone orders
Let’s face it, calling a restaurant, waiting for staff to take you off hold, and trying to convey specific order details in a noisy environment can be awful. And if it happens more than once, people probably won’t call a third time.
Lower delivery charges
As already mentioned above with “Lieferando – Lieferservice”, the commission for delivery services is often very high (in our eyes). At Lieferando, for example, it is 30% for delivery and 13% for order and independent collection.
With the aim of supporting restaurants in crisis by leaving more profit for the restaurateur at the end of the day, a Munich-based start-up called “Gastronomy Online” developed an online ordering system that is installed on the restaurant’s website.
The start-up also offers to permanently maintain a new website, as well as the integrated ordering system, so that restaurateurs can concentrate on their core business.
Order history of a potential customer
To manifest why all the points mentioned are so incredibly important, here is a common buying process of a potential customer who is in the home office at lunchtime looking for
-> 12:00 p.m. “I think I’ll order Thai food today, I’d like a bit of a change”.
-> Opens Google. Types in: Thai food, Munich.
-> Tap on Google Maps Suggestions.
-> Sees the first 3-5 restaurants.
-> Click on a restaurant. Visit the restaurant’s website/social media.
-> Search the website for menu.
-> Choose an appealing dish.
-> Now look for a way to order this dish.
-> (If the contact option is not immediately recognisable, the website/social media is left).
-> Find a way to order your dish via a telephone number, or ideally an ordering system.
-> Pick up the dish or have it delivered.
The following restaurants can benefit from such an ordering system as Gastronomy Online:
The Manouche in Munich Sendling
Manouche is a modern Lebanese restaurant in Munich. At Manouche you can either order by phone and pick up yourself, or complete the order via Lieferando and have your food delivered.
The Locanda Busento in Munich Sendling.
A beautiful Italian restaurant in Munich Sendling. Here you can order by phone and pick up your order afterwards.
The Thalassa Sendling
The Thalassa is a special Greek restaurant and absolutely recommendable. Ordering here is done by phone. You can pick up your food or have it delivered.
Advice for Munich restaurant owners
There is no doubt that the current circumstances will not pass anyone by without further ado. But restaurants (in Munich) in particular must be saved at all costs. If you are a restaurant owner, I hope you were able to draw feasible tips from this post. Never lose faith in keeping your business going. Invest in professional help to get your restaurant online.
I wish all restaurant owners and every reader, much strength to get through the pandemic in good health!