Now more than ever, it is important for small businesses, especially restaurants, to be adaptable. Surviving COVID-19 is going to be a challenge, but it is not impossibl
e with the right strategy. Here are 5 strategies we are offering to revive your restaurant and establish a new normal.
Priority One - Health and Safety
The health and safety of the community should always be top priority. Communicating your crisis management strategy will help customers feel at ease about coming visiting your restaurant.
Let them know that you are abiding by social distancing mandates and other government policies.
All Employees are wearing both gloves and masks at all times. It is mandatory that everyone follows protocol.
Regular sanitization of restaurant is occurring more frequently daily.
Displaying your business’ policy on serving customers. Signs should be displayed on entry/exit doors and throughout other visible locations reminding customers to maintain 6 feet of space, one customer inside at a time, for the safety of everyone
If your restaurant requires a line to order at the register, place 6 feet markers on the floor to help customers maintain a safe distance.
2. Be Resourceful
Utilizing your resources properly is the key to help you navigate during this pandemic.
Advertise that you are still open and available for carryout and delivery. Inform customers of your new hours and policies such as curbside pickup. Make it easy for customers to order online or by phone. Utilize food delivery apps such as GrubHub and DoorDash.
One of my good friends owns a taco restaurant and food truck. He parks his food truck outside of his restaurant and has added picnic tables. He has become very resourceful and has continued to have steady business. He also advertises that he will give every customer a roll of toilet paper with purchase - bribery is completely legal. Offering perks/discounts for being loyal customers is greatly appreciated during this time to maintain and establish new customers for future business.
Lastly, I would suggest watching our free webinar Stimulus Sundays to learn how your small business can reBound, reBuild and reFocus post COVID - 19. Now I know we are a little biased, but we curated a pantheon of industry heavy hitters who are willing to offer hope, help, and perspective to small business owners.
3. Social Media & Online Presence
Snap, Snap, Post. The more pictures the better. This is the perfect time to show how yummy your food is. Stay on your Facebook and Instagram stories. The money is in your stories.
Right now, is a great time to generate more of a following on social media. More people than ever are at home scrolling and posting during their Zoom meetings.
Engage with your customers… and I mean full engagement. A like is swell but a comment with an emoji goes a long way.
YOUR MONEY IS IN YOUR FACEBOOK AND INSTAGRAM STORIES
Keeping your hours up to date online, on your website and on all social media platforms is crucial. Show your customers your delicious menu options on Instagram and keep them in the loop about discounts. There is nothing wrong with showing a post about your safeguarding methods. Do what it takes to create peace of mind.
When posting, keep in mind that this is an emotionally delicate time for all of us. As you are engaging current and new customers be mindful and sensitive in your messaging. As a business, you do not want to appear to be insensitive. You might be ready to laugh at our pain, but others may not be.
You want to show your customers that you want to help them through this uncertain time. Discounts and promotions are always welcomed [wait, did we say that already? Yes...so you know it must be important].
4. Plan for the Future
What we know for sure is that this will not last forever. It is time to start planning for a brighter day. Take this opportunity while everyone has extra time on their hands and use it to make a post-pandemic marketing plan.
Use this time to give your restaurant a deep cleaning and a new coat of paint. Take a thorough inspection around your restaurant and touch every surface.
Degum the tables and chairs (you should be doing this every night, but…)
Condition the leather on your chairs and booths
Clean your booth and chair cracks
I could go on and on… but pull out that old checklist - I know you have one
Update the lighting in your restaurant - it makes a big difference
Reprint your menu. Before you reprint, scale it back as well. I am sure there are some items that do not have strong descriptions or do not sell. Handle that.
Take up the table tents, nobody likes a table tent (or that might be just me)
Come back stronger than ever before.
Reassess your website
Who is your new target market?
How does your website speak to their needs?
Do you have a clear call to action (CTA)?
Order online - pick up or delivery
Gift Card Promotions
Renovate your social media
Does your social media represent your restaurant's brand?
Are you family friendly?
Do you have a happy hour?
Does your restaurant make a social impact?
Do you show your staff or patrons enjoying the food or environment?
Do you have too many pictures of the same menu items?
Can someone scrolling recognize your brand?
Need more help renovating your social media from experts that specialize in the restaurant business?
Schedule a consultation with us today!
5. Be Prepared
I think that we can agree that even once we get back to “normal” we are still going to want 6+ feet of distance from our neighbors in a restaurant. More space equals less tables. The communal style seating in a restaurant is going to be a hard sell. Be mindful and understanding.
During times of uncertainty, it is necessary to have plans in place in case you or one of your employees gets sick.
If an employee says they do not feel well or show signs of sickness, allow them to go home. It might leave you short staffed temporarily, but it is not worth you, your staff or patrons getting sick
Think about the possibility of reducing days and hours of operation
For More information or to schedule a free consultation contact us today.