Navigating Your Restaurant Through COVID-19
Restaurants have become an important part of our communities. They have become a dominant force in the revitalization of our downtowns and provide a quality life benefit to residents, tourists, and business travelers.
Unfortunately, due to COVID-19, the future of this industry will depend on changes to ensure safety, customer volume, and business profitability. Restaurants are going through an unprecedented time. Many industry analysts suggest that at least half of the restaurants in the country will closed permanently. They argue that you either adapt or perish. The pandemic has left many restaurant owners struggling for answers. Never has it been so important to operate your establishment as efficiently as possible and create new revenue streams. Adaptation is the key.
Brandon Hofstedt and Bill Ryan of the Division of Extension’s Community Economic Development Program have teamed up with Neil Learner and Jason Schleip of the Wisconsin Small Business Development Center Network to reach restaurants by region, across the state. Every two weeks, they focus on a different part of the state to deliver a 1 ½ hour session on best practices in response to the pandemic. Peer to peer learning will be encouraged so that we can assemble innovations and ideas restaurants throughout Wisconsin. Topics covered include:
- Safely reopening your restaurant
- Pivoting into new revenue streams
- Profits & Cash flow analysis
- Marketing during a pandemic
- Operating in the “new normal”
The webinar is followed by free counseling sessions with Jason (safety and operations) and Bill (financial planning using restaurant software). These counseling sessions are available to those who attend the FREE webinar. Those interested in attending a counseling session are encouraged to make an appointment soon after the webinar. Zoom videoconferencing will be used for the sessions.
County an area educators with the Division of Extension can play an important role by inviting restauranteurs to attend and participate.
To Register, go to: https://wisconsinsbdc.org/restaurants/ and select:
Webinar: Navigating Your Restaurant Through COVID-19
Tue, Aug 4, 2020 9:30 AM – 11:00 AM CDT For more information, contact:
- Jason Schleip, Wisconsin Small Business Development Center: email@example.com
- Bill Ryan, UW-Madison Division of Extension, Community Economic Development: firstname.lastname@example.org
Gov. Evers Announces Best Practices and Safety Guidelines for Wisconsin Businesses
MADISON — Gov. Tony Evers announced today that businesses looking to keep workers, customers, and families safe while “turning the dial” toward reopening can now draw on a series of publications to keep them informed of best practices and safety tips.
The brochures include general guidelines for all businesses to follow as well as industry-specific advice, such as for restaurants, retailers, manufacturers, professional offices, farmers, manufacturers, builders, hotel and motel operators, barbers, personal care services and other fields.
“Wisconsin businesses have done a great job in adapting to our state’s Safer at Home order,” Gov. Evers said. “As we begin to ‘turn the dial,’ they need to know how to reopen safely so that employees and customers can feel confident when they return.”
The guides were developed by the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) in consultation with the Departments of Health Services, Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection, and Tourism, as well as and industry experts and associations.
“What these guides really aim to do is provide actionable advice for businesses, especially small businesses, as they begin the road back to reopening,” said WEDC Secretary and CEO Missy Hughes. “The guides answer basic questions, such as how to handle transactions at cash registers, what to do about merchandise that’s been handled by customers, and how to set up an office using social distancing strategies.”
Some of the general advice for businesses includes:
- Making sure that employees who are sick don’t come to work
- Curtailing business travel whenever possible.
- Promoting telecommuting or other work-from-home arrangements
- Making sure employees have access to sanitizers and personal protective equipment when appropriate.
Gov. Evers said the reopening of state businesses will continue to be guided by the health care metrics contained in the Badger Bounce Back plan, which include tracking new cases of COVID-19, assessing available medical resources to cope with COVID cases, and ensuring adequate testing and mitigation resources.
Copies of the guide will be available on the WEDC website at: https://wedc.org/reopen-guidelines.
Helpful Links during the time of COVID-19
COVID – 19 Response and Guidance for Non-Profits/Small Business and Families
- Governor Evers’, “Badger Bounce Back Plan” guidelines and criteria.
- Scholz Non-Profit Law provides guidance on how non-profits can apply for state aid. Complete with checklists, application and overviews. Topics include:
- COVID Tax Credits
- EIDL – Economic Injury Disaster Loan
- PPP – Payroll Protection Program
- Wisconsin Work-Share (Unemployment Insurance)
- UW-Madison, Extension’s website on reviewed supports for small businesses, non-profits, local government and families. Resources include overviews on:
- Small Business Owner’s Guide to the CARES Act, EIDL, PPP, Small Business 20/20 Program, Save Small Business Fund, Bridge Loans, Debt Relief and more.
- Small-Business guidance and updates via Small Business Development Center
- Wisconsin Humanities CARES Relief Grant – for organizations and programs serving in the area of the Humanities.
- 1) Charter Communications: Will offer free access to broadband for 60 days to households with K-12 and / or college students
- 2) AT&T: Removing data caps associated with their wireless and wired connections (see “Customer Offers”)
- 3) Comcast: Increases access and speeds to their Internet Essentials Program ($10 / month broadband); new families get 60 days free
4) T-mobile: Hotspot loan programs made available to K-12 districts ($20 / month for unlimited data; $0 device). No link yet but confirmed by T-mobile Gov’t account manager