Mark Gray, COO of Bottleneck Management, joins podcast host Andrew Southern on this episode of Redesigning Normal to discuss the challenges of operating a restaurant group during a pandemic and the strategic pivots that allowed the business to survive the pandemic year.
Unlike other establishments, Bottleneck restaurants went into lockdown with no real infrastructure to support a to-go business. Mark describes how the existing business model did not pivot easily, meaning it was more expensive to launch a new service than to remain closed in the beginning.
Mark then discusses how his team used this time to build a more intentional plan around to-go options, including new technology platforms and virtual delivery brands to boost cash flow as restaurants reopened.
Mark and Andrew also discuss what policies and practices will remain part of everyday operations after the pandemic ends, unprecedented hiring challenges in the restaurant industry, and the potential for a quick financial recovery. So far, Mark reports that they are getting closer to 2019 revenue levels much faster than anticipated.
After you listen, connect with Mark on LinkedIn. Learn more about Bottleneck Management and their family of brands at BottleneckMgmt.com and follow on Twitter @BottleneckMgmt.
This episode of Redesigning Normal is brought to you by Invisible Health Technologies.