COVID-19 pandemic has changed everyone’s daily life. The coronavirus epidemic has forced governments around the world to implement strict lockdown and social-distancing measures, bringing life to a standstill. It has also taken a heavy toll on trade and commerce, with the hospitality industry taking the biggest hit. So if you’re a restaurateur or operate a takeaway service, then you’re probably struggling to stay afloat. But just because you cannot remain open right now does not imply that you can’t carry on with business as usual. In these times of crisis, you’d need to think out of the box to formulate some proactive and hands-on marketing strategies. The way you manage your catering or takeaway advertising can make a huge difference.
Currently, when almost all restaurants and catering businesses are providing takeaway and home delivery services, you need to do things a bit differently to stand out. Make the most of these creative marketing tactics to boost sales as well as reinforce your rapport with customers.
Share how you’re coping with the crisis with your customers
One excellent way of connecting with your customers is by updating them on how you’re coping with the crisis. Now is the time to tap into your customers’ strong desire to socialize with their near and dear ones and local businesses. Let your guests know how you are doing in these tough times, what measures you’re taking to help your staff, any special deals you’re offering, and so on.
There’s a high likelihood that the right proportion of your customers are looking forward to some extraordinary ways of keeping themselves amused during this lockdown phase. So, do not shy away from planning exclusive web-based fun events such as contests and occasions to keep your customers in good humor.
Promote gift cards
Even if customers could go out, most would probably stay at home in the current situation. However, know that your loyal guests are always looking for ways to support you so that you stay in business. You can help your guests support you by enabling them to buy gift cards online, which they can redeem at a later date.
You can look up Stella Taco in Portland, Maine offering gift cards online and Mexican restaurants in New York, Claro, and Alta providing gift cards for gifting in digital format. Such initiatives keep customers connected and participate.
Deliver cocktails to your loyal customers
Cocktails, alcoholic drinks, and beverages contribute nothing less than 25%-30% of a diner’s overall sales every day on average. Many countries, keeping this aspect in mind, have relaxed legislation about alcohol delivery. So, if your state presently allows you to fulfill home delivery orders of sealed drinks, then get ready to deliver Bloody Mary, Martini, and take home Margarita Mix.
Tap your creativity for creating COVID-19 specials
Your customers are feeling down and out in the present situation. You can do your bit to cheer them up by dishing out special dishes having names with high recall value. How about offering Social Distancing Desserts, Lockdown Lunches, COVID Calamari, and Quarantine Kits together with TPs?
Expand and spread out your services
As the coronavirus pandemic keeps you from keeping your restaurant open, you can expand and spread out your services to stay in business. You can branch out to offering curbside pickup, home delivery, takeout, and catering to boost sales. You can use the following tips to your advantage to provide high-quality takeaway services:
- Set-up online ordering for drive-through, delivery, and takeout services
- Enlist the services of third-party delivery agents such as Deliveroo and takeaway.com for completing your delivery orders
- Offer curbside pickup
- Craft a distinct home delivery and takeout services menu
Use innovative marketing strategies to strengthen the relationship with your customers
Your dedicated customers are your best brand ambassadors who can promote your business by word-of-mouth for free. So you should go out of the way to show your gratitude towards your trusted guests and return the favor. You can express your appreciation by inviting them to special events, engaging with the neighborhood. You can also create a customer loyalty program.
Keep a record of your customers’ details and make the most of the data
Keeping details about customers does not only mean noting down their names, contact numbers, and addresses. Make sure you keep a record of their food preferences, the total number of orders, order size, and so on. This invaluable data will come to your aid when you create a customer loyalty scheme, send a personalized text message, and so on.
Hyper-personalize your catering and takeaway services
Every restaurant or eatery in your locality is offering food delivery and takeaway services. So how can you provide the same services to attract the attention of your customers? By doing things differently and in unusual ways, for instance, partnering with third-party delivery services (UberEats and Grubhub), encouraging customers to order in bulk to avail of discounts, and so on.
Exploit data for highlighting your ads on social media
You can upload your customer database on social media platforms such as Facebook and Instagram and use this data to create custom audiences. You can then use this custom audience to target Facebook ads specifically for them. Salmon & Bear Restaurant in Sydney is encouraging its customers to order home deliveries or go for a short walk for pickup to get a 25% discount on its Facebook profile. If you ask us, that’s the way to do your takeaway advertising!
If you need some ideas on how to use Instagram Stories to advertise your restaurant or takeaway service, check them out here.
Hold on to customers who’re still venturing out to dine
You can request those customers who’re still venturing out to dine to rebook and take advantage of a unique offer. Henry’s restaurant in NSW, Australia, is encouraging its diners to rebook to avail of a 20% rebate on their next invoice
Today, a lot of hospitality businesses are struggling to survive the crisis. Most of them try to do so by incorporating food deliveries and takeaway services into their business plan. That’s exactly why you should invest some time (and possibly some other resources!) to make your takeaway advertising stand out.
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