It’s no secret that the Coronavirus pandemic has had a devastating and disproportionate impact on the industry. As a restaurant owner, you’ve likely been ordered to close your dining room for the foreseeable future.
There are initiatives underway that will help. The National Restaurant Association has requested $145 billion from the U.S. Treasury in recovery funds and the SBA has announced Disaster Loans to the tune of up to $2 million per affected food service business starting March 20th. (Full details and the ability to apply are available at SBA.gov/disaster.)
Many restaurant owners and food industry workers who can’t go to work are practicing social distancing or self-isolation until things return to normal, and while we don’t have control over when that may be, we do have control over what we do with our newfound free time.
Sure, binge-watching the latest season of your favorite show or becoming a social-media butterfly or downloading the latest game on your mobile device can be a fun way to kill time, but the Restaurant Brokers recommend thinking about ways to invest in yourself. Picking up new skills and knowledge will be much more valuable in tomorrow’s economy than getting your Netflix queue under control.
Reading is a great way to expand you r knowledge base and stay productive. If you’re already in the restaurant industry or thinking about buying or selling a restaurant, and if you enjoy reading our blog, then feel free to pick up Appetite for Acquisition for a deep dive into our approach to buying and selling restaurants. The book is filled with practical advice and entertaining real-life anecdotes pulled from nearly twenty years in the restaurant brokerage business and it remains the gold standard for books on the subject to this day.
On the flip side, if you want to branch out and learn about something completely unrelated to the restaurant industry, the options are endless. On an individual level, if you’ve been struggling with certain obstacles in your personal or professional life, read self-help books on those subjects. If self-help books aren’t your cup of tea, you’ll find that you can become impressively proficient in in-demand fields like coding and programming using free websites.
If you prefer a more structured learning environment, you can work towards an in-demand certification like tax preparation, paralegal studies, project management, etc. While almost no industry (other than healthcare) is completely recession-proof, you’ll find that your newfound skills, certifications, and/or knowledge not only make you more adaptable as an individual but compliment your current skill set as a restaurant owner.
For example, if you spend this downtime learning to code, you’ll be able to improve upon or build your restaurant’s website without having to spend money on a programmer. If you choose one of the other paths suggested above, you’ll be able to prepare your own taxes, file your own legal paperwork, or be a more effective manager which will allow you to pocket more of your hard-earned money.
Whatever you decide to do, remember that you can’t recycle wasted time, so be productive during this downtime and invest in yourself so that when things get back to normal, you’re more skilled, confident, adaptable, and capable.