2020 has been an incredibly challenging year for businesses in the travel, hospitality and service industries and independent restaurants are among the hardest hit. Before the pandemic, restaurateurs already faced many challenges; it’s a demanding business with thin margins and relentless competition. Sixty percent of restaurants don't make it past their first year and 80 percent go out of business within five years. Those without outdoor seating and who have been unable to successfully pivot to food delivery have been left with very limited options by state and local regulations.
By some estimates over 300 restaurants in the Bay Area have closed since the pandemic began. Lani Conway, a writer for restaurant review site The Infatuation, lists some of them in this article. Those that are likely to re-open will return in a new space or in a different form, and need your help!
As of September 30th the San Francisco Department of Public Health permitted restaurants to open their doors for a limited number of indoor diners.
This development doesn’t come without its own challenges however. Restaurants are required to adhere to 12 pages of rules covering training, cleaning, seating and more. Eve Batey of Eater put together a digestible* analysis of the guidelines which are time consuming to read, let alone implement.
Among the numerous suggestions and links there is a section on customer screening with an entire separate document dedicated to the questions that should be asked. This in itself is a manual process which will be difficult to scale, especially as restrictions on the number of diners are gradually eased.
Customer confidence is at an all time low and having a safe, reliable screening process will be a big part of regaining their trust.
In GatherSafe, we’ve created a solution that automates and scales customer and employee health screening and it is the perfect fit for restaurants.
It’s super simple to use. Before arriving for their reservation, diners go through the screening process by answering a survey on their own device and generate a pass that they show when arriving for their reservation. Users can opt to add temperature readings and COVID test results to prove their low-risk status and eventually, we will add the option to add vaccination data.
It’s a convenient process for customers, as efficient as possible for businesses, and best of all, the sensitive health data gathered is completely secure 100% of the time.
All three of our founders are in the Bay Area and Kelley is one of those rare San Francisco natives! As part of our commitment to help stimulate the local economy, we are giving away a limited number of free 60-day trials to Bay Area restaurants that chat with us before November 4th.
We’ve already had a number of commitments including one of our favourite eateries El Lopo. (If you go, make sure to try the divine tomato bread).
Here’s what owner Daniel Azarkman has to say about working with us:
"As we plan for a return to indoor dining, we face a daunting challenge in balancing our hospitality instincts with our concern for the safety of our guests and staff. Shilling is offering us a health screening solution that lets our team put the primary focus on service."
To stay on top of our the latest news or join the growing number of restaurants trusting us to manage their screening process:
We look forward to hearing from you. Stay safe and tip well!
*I will not be apologising for this pun.