The restaurant industry bore the brunt of the impact of the pandemic when it started over a year ago. Restaurants had to rely on takeout and delivery orders while others focused on outdoor dining. But many restaurants had to close due to the lack of demand in the market.
The situation has changed a year after, especially with more than 300 million doses of the vaccine administered by the authorities. At this point, restaurant owners who temporarily closed their businesses may want to reopen their restaurants as the situation changed for the better. Here are the things they should consider if they are planning to open as the pandemic ends.
Take Advantage of Takeout and Delivery Orders
If the restaurant owner hasn’t taken advantage of it yet, he should offer takeout and delivery services for his customers. Even if the restaurant didn’t remain open during much of the pandemic, these services are good ways to reconnect with the restaurant’s previous customers. These types of orders are likely to become a norm within the industry as consumers may continue to be wary about health risks if they stay outside of their homes for too long. It also allows the restaurant to start doing business even as it is still working on the dine-in area.
The restaurants should also modify their menu for their takeout and delivery service. Instead of offering individual pans of entrees, the restaurant can offer meals containing multiple portions for its customers. With this, it can connect with families and individual customers.
Even though the different states have allowed restaurants to open for business, restaurant owners should avoid going back to pre-pandemic levels with their dine-in customers. Restaurant owners should check the market if it’s ready for reopening. There are instances when the restaurant may focus first on takeout and delivery services before opening the dine-in areas.
Restaurant owners may even consider updating the equipment that allows them to adjust their services whenever necessary. They can look into getting meal delivery and kitchen work support equipment from Lakeside Manufacturing. The equipment features wheels that make it easy for restaurants to transfer them anywhere on their premises.
The restaurant can also acquire additional equipment to safeguard the health of its customers when it starts accepting dine-in patrons already.
Promote with Gift Cards
Before the restaurant opens its doors to dine-in patrons, it should connect with its customers and promote its upcoming opening through gift cards. Selling gift cards to its patrons allow the restaurant to get the funds it needs for its operations. The restaurant can sell these gift cards through different online and offline channels. It can even use a previous promotion is used to increase awareness of its reopening within its customer base.
Communicate with Customers
Maintaining contact with its customer base is also important for a restaurant when it is planning to reopen. This is particularly true if it closed at the height of the pandemic. Reconnecting with its customer base gives its customer something to look forward to when it opens.
If the restaurant does not communicate with its customer base, its customers may think it has permanently closed. The restaurant can communicate through its website, email, and social media accounts. It should continue engaging its customers. And when it is ready to reopen, it should get the message across as soon as possible. It should also provide daily updates to build up the hype for its upcoming reopening.
Use Digital Marketing
The restaurant should use digital marketing to inform its customers that it is ready to reopen. This is essential since the majority of consumers have gone online after the pandemic started. With this, restaurants can use different online platforms to spread the news of their upcoming reopening. They can also use online tools to create videos, online posters, and event announcements.
Restaurant owners can also consider updating their websites to reflect any changes they made in their establishments. The update can also include new procedures that the restaurant will implement when it reopens. Additionally, they can also update their menu offerings if they have new products to offer to their customers.
To increase awareness in its upcoming reopening, restaurants can use social media marketing to reach their customer base. Aside from posting relevant content on their social media accounts, restaurants can also use ads on different social media platforms, particularly Facebook, since many of their customers may have a Facebook account. Using paid advertising on Google is also a good idea to reach potential customers who may not have social media accounts.
Reopening a restaurant takes a lot of work on the part of the restaurant owner. But if he plays his cards right, he may regain the market he lost after the restaurant closed when the pandemic started.