Top Tips for Restaurants and Pubs as Industry Re-Opens Indoors

Wednesday, May 26, 2021

We reveal our top tips to support operators as hospitality moves back indoors.

Title page image of friends enjoying a meal in a restaurant

Steve Norris, Sales Director at Nestle Professional UK&I

Stephen Norris, sales director, Nestlé Professional UK & Ireland says: 

“After months of uncertainty, initial data is showing promising signs as the industry re-opens with 46% more bookings made for the week commencing 17 May compared to the first week of outdoor opening in April1.

“These last few weeks have shown us that consumers are keen to get back out there, which is very encouraging but uncertainty still lies ahead. As an industry, it’s important that we work together today in order to build a better tomorrow. So, following weeks talking to customers, we’ve compiled a list of top tips to help navigate these unprecedented times.”


Our top tips for restaurants and pubs:

Reopening your restaurant for indoor dining? Here are a few useful tips for restaurants, pubs and hospitality operators so you get it right from the start.


  1. Order little and often to prevent waste and maximise profits 

Unpredictable consumer demand will continue to make forecasting stock levels a challenge. We know wholesales, caterers and chefs are looking to keep stock levels to a minimum – both to avoid waste and increase profitability. To help, we’re working with customers to simplify menus and encourage stocking more versatile ingredients that can be used in a number of different dishes. We are also having conversations across the supply chain to ensure that we have the stock available. If you want to find out more about avoiding food and packaging waste in your restaurant, check out our findings from the latest 2021 Footprint Sustainability Index.

  1. Harness the trust of brands

A great idea when reopening your restaurant is to start harnessing the trust of brands by being vocal about which ones you use on your menu. With more than two-thirds of #1 brands seeing higher than average share in April 20201, it’s apparent that consumers look for brands they can trust in times of uncertainty2.

  1. Pull on the power of plant-based

Paying attention to current trends is one of the best tips for restaurants and other hospitality businesses. We know that 44% of consumers would like more restaurants to offer plant-based meat alternatives3. The plant-based category presents a large growth opportunity across all channels.  Pull on the power of plant-based by making sure there are veggie and vegan options available on your menu to cater to this growing demand and encourage repeat visits / purchase. Get the latest insights on sustainable diets and the foodservice industry with our article based on our 2021 Footprint Sustainability Index.

  1. Offer something consumers can’t get at home

There is high demand to get out and meet friends and family in pubs and restaurants, with bookings up 28% nationwide in the three weeks since 12 April compared with the three weeks in July 2021. Consumers are expecting a high standard and looking for meals that are exciting.  It’s our job to stay on top of food and drink trends, translating them into inspirational recipes. Discover our recipes here.

  1. Get the basics right

Reopening your restaurant also means making sure that you’ve got the right specialists with the right skills to bring your vision to life. Almost 87% hospitality employers have said that they were finding it difficult to recruit for kitchen and back of house roles and this has meant that they have to invest more time and money into retraining to ensure current employees are prepared after several months of furlough4. From specialist barista trainers to development chefs, food technologists to nutrition and sustainability experts, our solutions ensure we can give your business the know-how where you need it most. We have been running successful virtual samplings to ensure that staff are knowledgeable about our products.

  1. Boost productivity with your food and drink offering in the workplace 

We are likely to see a hybrid workplace model emerge in which employees divide their time between working from home and going into the office for collaborative sessions. Research shows that face to face meetings can boost team performance by 35%5 and the food and drink offering will be key in helping to facilitate this. From seasonal promotions to meal deals, there are lots of tips for restaurants opening their doors for indoor dining. With so many ways to drive your potential and satisfy your customers. you can use our extensive research and industry-specific experience to find the most effective strategies to achieve this.

  1. Continue to embrace delivery to increase revenue streams

Delivery has been a lifeline for many establishments during lockdown. In fact, 27% of British adults ordered more deliveries than usual (or for the first time) during lockdown, with signs indicating they will continue their high frequency including from pubs and bars6. Planning for the future with a mix of take-away and delivery-friendly dishes will help cater to changing consumer demands as well as generating additional revenue streams. By partnering with us you can access some of the best development chefs in the industry. As well as benefiting from a constant stream of innovations, you can also use their knowledge to develop your own cutting-edge food and drink products.

Next, make sure you delight your customers with these smart menu ideas for restaurants and pubs reopening.



Propel Premium Wednesday News Briefing, 12 May 2021

Kantar FMCG Panel 4 we 19/4/20

3 Nestlé Professional plant-based menu, 2018


CGA Brandtrack, April 2020