Are you prepared for a week without power? Here’s my tips to help your restaurant survive Hurricane Florence.
Tonight. Cook and serve whatever you can. Offer to-go meals, half price specials, whatever it takes to move your food. When you’re preparing to close, freeze what you can, clean out all garbage, make certain you’ve got clean cans and bags plus bleach, gloves, and possibly masks for your return.
Review your emergency response plan with your executive team. Don’t have one? Don’t write one now. However, you can divide up the big stuff between your management folks. Appoint someone to do your crisis management (post updates, contact insurance company, find a generator and fuel) while another should collect/manage all contact info for emplyees and another could be your first response team to get to the restaurant as the winds and rain die down.
Is your IT system and data backed up? Call those guys right now and make sure.
Have a clear plan for communicating with your staff and share it with everyone! A private/secret Facebook page may work well for this. Post regular updates and make sure your staff is comfortable with their own personal preparation at home. When it’s time to close, make sure everyone knows when this is going to happen and who will contact everyone to let them know the next steps.
Before locking up, shoot video of the entire property, take your time doing this. Food, liquor, everything. This will be very helpful in the event of a catastrophic loss.
Upon your return, and before any hourly staff enter the premises, make sure the building is safe. Your work comp may not cover an hourly staff member falling off the roof or pulling furniture out of the walk in cooler. Document all discarded food and beverage and any additional costs such as a generator or fuel. Check with your accountant and insurance agent as you may be able to enter damaged food as a loss based on potential sales and not raw food cost.
Do NOT save anything perishable in the event of a power outage. You will not know how long your power has been out and you cannot smell food-based pathogens.