restaurant reopening strategies

Are you planning to reopen your restaurant? Then, you need an action plan to increase sales in your restaurant.

We’ve briefly mentioned practical pointers that you can utilize during your marketing campaign and other pointers that can help you establish yourself as a safe place to order food and dine during the pandemic. 

Marketing Restaurant Opening: 7 Tips To Reopening Your Restaurant Post-Pandemic

  1. Keep Your Website Up To Date

Diners need up-to-date information on your restaurant website. The loyal customers keep an open eye to what’s happening with your restaurant and require the latest information on reopening safety measures, hours of operation, updated menus and take out instructions.

You can also publish an announcement on your website about your reopening and what you have got new in the store for your customers. People need new experiences after being locked up in their house for more than a year. 

We recommend you do the same on your Google My Business profile, because chances are before your customers land up on your website, they’re going to search about you on Google. An active & updated Google My Business profile can give them all the information they need - your opening hours, current status of ordering in your restaurant, Covid-19 specific safety measures, reviews etc. It’s crucial to update this information on your Google My Business profile (try replying to positive as well as negative reviews.. It helps establish good rapport with your online audience). 

  1. Start Providing Takeout Services

Under the current situation of global pandemic, restaurant delivery and take-out services have been rising in popularity and helping increase revenue for major restaurants in the city. 

Several restrictions have been imposed on restaurants, limiting their dine-in services but on the other hand take out services are on the rise. If you still haven’t planned to offer take out services, here are some tips to do so:

3. Design Takeout & Home-delivery Menu 

You have to specifically run a marketing campaign to let your customers know that you’ve also opened up home-delivery and takeout services. Design a separate simplified version of your dine-in menu and call it your takeout menu. 

Pick out those dishes that are easy and quick to prepare and pack, only those items that can be easily transported between different locations. You can scratch off delicate dishes that could melt or breakdown during transit.

4. Provide Curbside Pickup Services

Many restaurants and food-chains have started offering quick takeout services to increase their sales. 

You can too provide curbside pickup services for your customers, to stay within the social distancing norms as well as increase your revenue. You have to take extra precautions and train your employees to handle curbside orders and accepting payments.

5. Accessorize Your Drive-thru Window

Your drive-thru window needs to have stocked items such as napkins, sanitizers, plastic cutlery in plain sight so that basic hygiene and safety measures are followed.

Keep your windows clean and install speakers so that you are working from an appropriate safe distance. Work with your drive-thru team to figure out what items are required for a safe and fast takeout service to ensure customer expectations are met.

6. Setup Online Ordering

Now that you have a take out and home-delivery menu ready, you can set up your online ordering system. Most customers find it easy to order food online as they can scroll through a number of options and not worry about COVID-19 restrictions to find better taste at their chosen restaurants.

7. Offer Online Food Ordering Services

How to reopen your restaurant post-pandemic with online ordering

Covid-19 pushed further the trend of online food ordering. Before Covid-19, millennials paved way for online food ordering services, today, almost everybody is looking for a safe way to order food online.

You could implement an online food ordering feature on your website or use a third-party app to offer these services to customers. Being able to order food online via your website, through scanning a QR code or using a NFC tag helps your customers exploredining-in benefits. You can handle more orders with less server staff. 

Your staff needs lesser training as they no longer need to memorize your menu or remember the customizations you offer or even remember the order or several customizations the diner may have asked for. 

With online food ordering, you can also offer more nutritional information in your menu which allows your customers to make informed food choices. With people getting more health-conscious due to Covid-19, this feature adds to your goodwill and helps with increased revenue. 

A digital menu is also easier to change & update. Lastly but most importantly, an online food ordering system allows contactless delivery that makes your customers feel safer in these unprecedented times. 

As a restaurant that’s aiming for success in the post-covid world, you need to be more customer-centric and adapt to the needs of your new normal customers. Aim for that while setting up your online ordering system! 

8. Keep Your Email Community Active With Updates 

Once you’ve decided to open up your restaurant for your customers, you have to let them know. The best way to reach out to your most loyal customers is through email and social media. Email community members are your most loyal customers. They are the easiest to market.

Consumers who purchase products through email spend 138% more than those that don’t receive email offers. Source

Email marketing is your white knight. Send your restaurant reopening promotional email out once you’ve all regulations setup and approved by local government officers. Highlight all the safety measures you’re taking on-premise during operational hours, as well as your menu for the new normal visitors. 

To drive more online orders, engage them with follow up emails that talk primarily about the safety measures you’ve taken. It will take more than just one email to break the fears of the virus out of the people. 

Mention clear call-to-action that drives your customers to either order food online or reserve a table for a special occasion. Don’t force them to step out of their house. Instead, make them feel comfortable and provide incentives to land on your website or somehow engage with your content.

9. Say ‘Hello’ To Your Existing Customers

People are working from home and spending most of their time on computer screens and smartphones. If you’re planning to go with paid ads and billboards, it’s not going to make much difference. 

Connect with your existing customers using the data you already have about them. Use your email list and social media handles to personally reach out to each customer. This way, you’re breaking the funnel and reaching out to the customers directly without any filters. 

If you have their contact information, use that to let them know what you have in store for them. Let them know about your timings and offers.. Provide them with incentives that can strengthen your relationship by saying something like we’d like you to be our first customer in the new normal!

Inform them about how they can enjoy tasty food without leaving the comfort of their home as well as spread awareness about social distancing and hygiene. More communication is better, try to be a friend rather than a seller in these tough times.

People don’t care about your brand unless you do! So, make sure you emphasize any charity or help your business has provided during the pandemic. This helps increase sales as you establish yourself not only as a restaurant but also as a socially active community.

10. Rewrite Your Social Media Strategy

Social media is very important to your business and marketing campaign. There’s no other place during the pandemic where you can find millions of users daily ready to be converted!

Brainstorm any ideas that can put your restaurant on the map. A well-constructed marketing strategy should include your new menu, hours of operation and dining experience. Start with this information and frame your strategy around it.

You can design a theme around your new menu.. Say a menu for sports enthusiasts sitting at home or a menu for tech employees who love salads at noon! Tell a story around your new dining experience, how sitting at alternate tables can make your evening even more romantic!

11. Use Testimonials To Land New Customers

If you haven’t set up your Google My Business (GMB) profile, go ahead and establish your local presence so that people can find you on Google Maps, call you on your registered number to reserve tables and get to know more about you on your website.

One more interesting feature of GMB is that it allows people to add reviews for your business. You can use these reviews and testimonials to attract new customers. 

Unlike traditional marketing, where you have to spend a lot of money to make your presence felt in the market, today you can use these reviews as resources and user generated content to spread awareness and goodwill about your business over social media and emails.

What Are You Waiting For?

restaurant reopening strategies

For restaurants recovering from 2020, we have good news! We can provide you the necessary recalibration to reopen your business in the new normal, to help you with an action plan to increase sales in your restaurant.

We provide,

  • Commission free
  • AI-driven
  • Allergy tagging
  • 100% contact free dine-in, take out and delivery services

To know more about our integrated platform, check out our pricing and reach out to us either by

  • Calling us at +1(732)233-4742
  • Or request us a quote with your specific restaurant challenges at tim@palatable.app