Discuss about business strategies, development plans, five-year plans, marketing goals, sales targets – all of this and much more should be reconsidered on the grounds that what worked for your business a couple of months ago, may not work in the New Normal.
So what really works in the post-COVID-world for restaurants? What is that you have to deduct from your list of annual goals? How might you adapt your marketing strategies to meet the new expectations for the new world? Let’s discover!
New Normal for Restaurants is Online Ordering and Delivery
First of all, if you have consistently been a dine in establishment and thought delivering would not justify the kind of experience your customers are used to, take a pause, think deep, and understand that your customers are voluntarily choosing to get that experience delivered to their doorstep.
If you won't turn to online ordering and takeaway, your competitor will take away all of your customers. Moreover, in the food business, we know a lost sales means a lost customer.
This doesn't mean that you should completely close your dining rooms walk in customers. Some might want to step out of the house for a new breath of air and a new experience, but that won't get suffice in the long haul. A business needs a regular flow of sales and transactions to stay afloat.
So facilitate your customers with online ordering and delivery. Let them know you are available to accept orders online and ensure that you follow all safety protocols to deliver hygienic, safe, and delightful experience to your customers always. This is the best way to keep the business running, staff employed and customers loyal.
New Normal for Restaurants is Staying Connected
Truly, 80% of your regular customers are investing a lot of time online each day. So if you are social media strategy earlier included posting an image or two of the most sumptuous dishes from your restaurant kitchen, then you should do over your content plan.
For a restaurant business, Instagram is your main target social media platform. You can discover all of your customers on this platform, scrolling through a huge number of pictures of food and beverages every hour.
Your customers are interested to know how their food is being prepared. They need to know whether your cooks are wearing protective gear while preparing their food. Furthermore, they need to know whether delivery boys are following all the protocols to guarantee safe deliveries.
So, your new social media marketing strategies should focus on winning customers' trust and holding their loyalty through, genuine, authentic and conversational content.
Regardless of whether you don't have a team to work on the new strategy, get your phone, take a couple of good videos of your kitchen and staff, and post it on Instagram consistently.
Speak to your customers directly through IGTV videos or Go Live with Instagram Stories to guarantee them that your team is doing their best to deliver as per the customer expectations.
New Normal for Restaurants is no Free Delivery
At such an extraordinary time, you can't afford to waive off delivery charges. Each penny earned or lost matters.
Truly, such marketing gimmicks may have worked in favor in the pre-COVID-world, alluring customers to order from your site against third party aggregators', but now things are extraordinary and you need resources to keep your doors open. Your delivery fleet needs the incentive to work round the clock with all the risk that there is. The majority of all, protective gear for staff and tamper proof packaging to keep food from contaminated will cost you a bomb over the next couple of months.
Free Delivery will be off the charts for some time and your customers understand that. They'll not forsake you for being charged for deliveries and packaging. Actually, food delivery platforms are also charging their customers for deliveries to keep the momentum going.
So keep aside Free Delivery standards, and spotlight more on dinner kits, packaged offers, family packs - play with the prices of your menu, make them economical for your customers to encourage repeat orders consistently.
New Normal for Restaurants if "No Touch" and "Frictionless"
This would require you to roll out certain changes in how the food is prepared and delivered to the customer, particularly if you are open for takeaway and curbside pickup.
Minimal contact is what your customers are looking for and to deliver to this expectation, operators are thinking of creative and viable strategies to send clear noticeable signs that sanitization and distancing are being practiced at all times.
Keep masks and gloves at the entrance so anyone who forgets to deliver their heap can use them before entering the premises. Floor stickers and stopping cones can be truly useful to keep up adequate distance while customers wait in line. Invest in apps to consider ordering, payment, and pick up with the objective of frictionless service.
New Normal for Restaurants in Going Back to Basics
By this we mean, cutting down on exotic dishes and beverages that demand procuring ingredients from different parts of the nation. Stick to the basic menu. Use analytics to cut short the most well known 40 items from the menu and be innovative with them.
For example, a platter of Mac and Cheese can be made interesting with add-ons, or innovative with Fruit Sushis to capture individuals' attention. Stock on rich flavors and flexible use ingredients that can be included into multiple recipes and buzz-worthy LTOs.
The objective is to optimize the kitchen for the delivery model and for that you would need to direct your focus towards making dishes that can undoubtedly be delivered in effective, safe, multi-use take-out packaging.
Prepare your Restaurant for New Normal
We currently have a great opportunity to support more restaurants and build better relationships!
If you don't have an online ordering system set up, we're here to help you with launch your own online ordering platform with Takeaway Genie.