“Safety” is the most important now to help assure patrons to revisit their favourite restaurants.
The customers are hesitant to eat out, since they’ve heard from all over the news that the virus spreads through the air and that they could catch it from someone sitting next to them while dining.
What’s imperative now, for any restaurant business, is to improve the indoor experience through air conditioners, social distancing and also with a communication that aims to mitigate the transmission of the virus.
QR Codes – The New Virtual Menus
At restaurants, paper menus are out and digital menus are in.
These boxy, square-and-dot-filled designs have been around since the mid-1990s, but they are making a huge comeback during the COVID-19 pandemic.
A QR code works in the same way as a barcode at the supermarket. When your smartphone scans the code, it translates that information into a link that leads to something recognizable — like a PDF of a restaurant menu.
Even before the coronavirus changed how we do just about everything, mobile wallets like Apple Pay, Google Pay, Samsung Pay and other tap-to-pay methods were more secure than credit cards because they mask users’ personal data through a process called tokenization. If an establishment is hacked, your credit card number is safe because it was never exposed.
That’s great advice if you’re shopping at a chain store or dining at a chain restaurant. But mobile wallet payments have yet to become ubiquitous at small businesses.
Online First – Fix Your Digital Info ASAP
If before you could skip the setup of a proper website/social media business page, now it’s basically mandatory to update all your info online ASAP. How?
Google My Business: Although not the same amount of people are not walking into your restaurants they are still googling it. Make sure your online presence is locked in. Be searchable and ensure that you are doing as much as you can to be found. Take advantage of Google My Business, it’s free and it’s the most used tool by the consumer for searching your Google’s listings and maps.
TripAdvisor: Trip Advisor is another highly used tool by the consumer. A big percentage of restaurateurs are not utilising it to its full potential. Update your menu, your opening hours and encourage your current customers to leave a review – this will help the readers understand that your restaurant is still open.
Social Media: Social Media got more saturated with content when COVID hit. At the same time, the consumer has also started spending more time on social media. Now is more important than ever to continue your social media presence and increase your content. We currently have an offer on our social media content packages – feel free to hit us up to know more.
Use stories, videos and show your customers what you have to offer that makes it easier and safer for them during these times. As an example, family meals and extra health and safety procedures.
Paid Digital Ads: As third-party delivery has increased, a bigger percentage of your sales are now less profitable. Turn on ads to guide your customers to your own online ordering pages. This does not have to be super expensive for you. The key is to turn on local ads in each of your Facebook location pages and promote calling/filing your online booking form.
Team up with your local influencers
One restaurant marketing tip is to find micro-influencers in your restaurant location, and host a micro-influencer free dinner party where you invite those with 2K+ followers for a night of fun and free food in your restaurant. They’ll likely post about the event tagging you and your restaurant, driving more traffic and their followers to come visit you in the coming days and weeks.
Lastly, keep in mind that most customers go out for an experience, this has not changed and never will. While you have to mention the steps taken to provide a safer environment, you still have to market the experience! If you fail to provide the experience, you will not last. You may be as clean as an intensive care ward, but no one wants to dine there! Ultimately no experience equals no customers.
What tip are you going to implement soon? Let us know below how you’re managing your online communication during these strange times!