Is your restaurant business still shuttered? Many United States restaurants have begun phases of reopening in their communities over the last few weeks, while for others it may feel like there’s no end in sight. If your restaurant is still closed, or you’re choosing to remain temporarily closed for dine-in, we’ve come up with some ideas of how to stay at the forefront of your customers’ minds (and social media feeds).
Communicate regularly- Even if you’re not operating like normal, you still need to be communicating with customers. Keeping up a constant stream of communication lets customers be in the know and shows a more personal side to your business. Share with them as much as you know about your restaurant, when you find out. You may not have all the answers but you can at least entertain them, getting them more and more involved in your business.
Need some post ideas? Here’s a few to get the creative juices flowing:
- Why you started your restaurant
- Your favorite meal to make
- What you love about your community
- Your favorite restaurant TV show
- Release a signature cocktail/menu item’s recipe and let customers try and make it themselves
- A sneak peek of your next menu item
It’s important to keep up your social media, email marketing, and any other preferred methods of communication as much as possible during this time. The worst thing you can do in this situation is to go dark.
Share your safety plans- The COVID-19 pandemic has completely changed how dining out will look in the future. Show off the changes you are making in your establishment to your customers. Are you adding glass partitions? Are you requiring face masks or temperature checks? Expanding your outdoor area? Have you changed your layout to comply with social distancing limitations? Creating a new sanitizing routine? Share these with your customers through your social media, email, and website so they will feel more comfortable visiting you when they are able.
Be active in your community- This is a time of uncertainty for everyone in your community, take some initiative to help out where you can.
Have food that will go bad before you reopen? Donate it to a local food donation organization to help those in need. If your community puts on any kind of first responders parade, put supportive signs on your storefront or be out there yourself. These may seem like little things, but getting your restaurant’s name out into your community is always a plus to your business.
Show customers how they can support you now- There are a few ways customers can still support your business, even if you’re not operating at 100%.
If you were able to stay open for takeout or delivery, keep promoting these to your customers! This is a great way to continue your business and some normalcy for the time being. Another way your customers can support you during this time is by buying gift cards. Offer incentives to customers who buy gift cards such as ‘buy a $30 gift card, get $10 free’! Cue customers in that these are the best ways to support your business during this time.
By communicating regularly, putting increased safety measures into effect, being active in your community, and showing your customers how they can support you now, your restaurant can stay at the top of your customers’ mind. All of this so when you can finally open your doors, they’ll be there, waiting for a table.