How Your Restaurant Can Weather the Coronavirus
Covid-19 a.k.a the Coronavirus, is saturating headlines within all media channels. Fear has been sparked, everyone is on edge and upcoming events or trips have been tabled with a big question mark.
Conventions, entertainment events, industry conferences and trade shows, etc., have been canceled or postponed within many industries across the US. This will and has greatly impacted business of the hospitality industry surrounding these large events. In addition, many are un-sure about getting out and about to the grocery store or a restaurant and thus have resulted in double didgit sales losses versus last year.
So what can you do? Think like your customer. They want to stay in the loop, they still want to eat food they don’t make at home (hello …cabin fever), and they are thinking about ways they can still enjoy and experience your restaurant while being mindful of the coronavirus.
Communication is Vital
Since customers are leery about coming in to dine, communicate with them all that you are doing at your business to ensure the spread. Whether, it is additional hand washing and sanitizing stations, increased sanitization of surfaces, deep cleanings and staff education, share this with your customers.
Post on your social media channels, send out an e-blast to your mailing list, and place a sign on your front door. Do every thing you can to show them how you are making your restaurant a clean zone.
Offer Up Your Menu During Less Peak Hours
For customers who still want to dine out, encourage coming before and after the busy periods to avoid less of a crowd. This will keep your customer flow consistent through the day part.
Sign On with Third Party Delivery Companies
If your business has not already partnered with a third party delivery company like Uber Eats, Grub Hub or DoorDash, now is the time. This is the ideal way to get your menu to customers who are unsure about venturing out.
Add Convenient Take Out
If your business has not had a strong take out business, you now have a strong opportunity to ramp up. Create a streamlined menu of your best sellers that are available via take out for customer convenience. Pre-made meals are also incredibly popular as a way your guests don’t have to worry about remembering to place and online order or call ahead.
Get Creative with Your Menu
Entice guests to your restaurants by bringing limited time specials to your menu. Whether its new Happy Hour specials, special dishes, seasonal offerings or new cocktails, highlight these to your guests as a way to entice them into your business.
Leverage local Industry Associations, Chamber of Commerces and Media Groups
These groups have strong followings both within your industry and in the greater community. Utilize them for spreading the word about your restaurant offerings/features. For example, the Golden Gate Restaurant Association is not only promoting the fact that people need to continue to go support restaurants during this hard time, but also has been instrumental in providing coronavirus coverage and education as the news breaks.