While many businesses are currently shut down because of concerns about COVID-19, now’s actually an ideal time to think about making improvements to your restaurant. Even if you’re still delivering food, if your restaurant’s dining area is closed off to guests, now’s a great opportunity for you to spend some time investing in some much-needed upgrades. Thanks to Small Business Loans and COVID-19 relief, it’s possible to get this work done in the interim so that your patrons are excited to return to your restaurant when your doors can open back up again. Here are a few tips to think about as you start to dream up the future of your restaurant.

Think floor to ceiling

As you consider your options, don’t leave any wall or corner off the table. Whether it’s finally going through with your laminate floor installation or adding new art to the walls, make sure to think about how any surface can be affected by your remodel. After all, it’s not like you can shut down your restaurant any old day when you want to make renovations. Take stock of all of your tables and chairs, too, to see whether or not they’re in need of repairs or servicing. Maybe now’s a great time to replace all of your tables and change the style of your restaurant, or perhaps you’d rather just figure out ways to improve them.

Experiment with new menu items

With all of this extra time, it could be a great opportunity to figure out ways to innovate or build upon your existing menu. Maybe there are a few cocktails you’ve always wanted the chance to sample and your bartender can send recipes to everyone to make at home or create a batch to sample when shifts change at your restaurant. You can do the same with menu items, talking through different ideas, whether they’re entrees or appetizers. When you’re ready to start testing these sorts of things out, you can try offering them up as specials on your delivery or carry-out menu, letting you solicit feedback from diners to see what’s popular and what’s not.

Queue up some social media content

If you feel like you never have enough time to schedule and showcase social media content for your restaurant, now’s a great time to improve your social channels. Spend a day queuing up posts in a platform like Later or Sprout Social to ensure that you have a decent buffer of content to share for the coming months. Whether it’s reposting positive reviews about your restaurant from major publications, leveraging Google and Yelp reviews in a weekly testimonial feature, or just showing some mouth-watering food photography, you likely have plenty of content to share if you just put your mind to it.

Don’t forget to service your kitchen

If you’ve been thinking a lot about your dining and waiting areas, make sure not to leave off your kitchen from any upgrade plans. Make sure that you have your drains properly cleaned from a reliable business offering cleaning and grease trap service. Perform an audit on your stovetops and burners to see that everything is working properly, and don’t forget to take a look at your deep freeze and refrigerators as well. It’s a good idea to take a look at your knives and other cooking implements, too, to see if it makes sense to replace these or just resharpen and repair worn cooking tools.

While it may be a difficult time to be owning and operating a restaurant, it never hurts to look on the bright side of things. This situation is a great opportunity to spend some time thinking about how to improve your restaurant and maybe even figure out a few projects to get rolling during this time.