What started as a small outbreak in a food market, has changed lives around the world. We’re faced with constant (scary) updates everywhere we turn, everchanging gathering bans, and challenging shortages.
It’s been rough for all small businesses, and the restaurant industry is no exception. But with a bit of flexibility, creativity, and patience, restaurants can survive Covid-19.
MAKE ONLINE ORDERING & DELIVERY EASY:
If you haven’t yet, now is an ideal time to transition your restaurant to online ordering, delivery & takeout. While consumers are home, they’re still hungry and not everyone likes to cook. Beyond simply offering online ordering, it’s all about the experience. People have a lot going on, so creating a simple experience is helpful to your customers.
Online ordering and apps are a great option to assist with customer adoption, retention and quality service, but they can substantially cut into your margins.
Here are a few of the most common apps and their fees:
● DoorDash: 20% fee
● Postmates: 15%-30%
● GrubHub: 10% – 20%
● UberEats: up to 30%
PROVIDE A CLEAR MESSAGE:
Business listings – Now that online is your best form of community connection, make sure your website, social accounts, search appearance, and all other business listings all have the same information on them. Your restaurant hours, meal packages (if you have them) and the customer’s options for online orders should be clear.
Online reviews – According to Inc.com, Research shows that 91 percent of people regularly or occasionally read online reviews, and 84 percent trust online reviews as much as a personal recommendation. Now is more important than ever to ask your customers to review and support your business, and ultimately help inspire new customer acquisition.
Strategic collaborations and Pivots – This is where the creativity comes in. A strategic collaboration with another brand or pivot can help your business survive a challenging time and attract additional media and social exposure.
PROVIDE COMFORT & ASSURANCE:
According to Google Trends, “delivery and takeout” searches have gone up 20x since the beginning of March. Making sure you are staffed to accommodate this increase in inquiries, while also making safety a priority is essential. Beyond working on your internal communications and staff awareness, it’s important to communicate with your customer. Telling your customers what you are doing to consider their safety can put their minds at ease and inspire trust in your brand. Adding a banner or section to your website to communicate this information or including a note in to go orders can be easy and effective.
In addition to written and verbal communication, visual communication is also helpful and allows your customers to experience your brand from their comfort zone. Having quality photography (of your menu items and space) sets realistic expectations and makes ordering easy.
While you continue to navigate the uncharted waters of operating a restaurant during the Covid-19 crisis, remember you’re not alone, your customers and community want to support you, and so do we.