A business especially a restaurant business keeps you on toes & everyday there is a new day with a new crunch. Being into the service industry you’re always wearing a smile even if your chef has resigned and you have no other option.
Midst of a normal day, suddenly a feeling of astonishment, shock & fear raced through people’s mind when the news broke that restaurants were no longer allowed to provide dine-in experiences to customers. Now that restaurants are opening with some guidelines & restrictions, it certainly gives us a ray of hope. We need to gear up & do things right.
A lot of your blood, sweat, and tears have been poured into your venture. From renovating the building with our own hands, designing and creating menus, running and funding the day-to-day operations, and even marketing, it’s all been done by them. It’s your dream & you have to make this work.
I have met, called and visited a few partially open restaurants & based on a few observations & my own advertising & marketing experience sharing some marketing tips for your restaurant/food/hotel business.
Be Transparent & Adaptable: Share & showcase the safety precautions & process you’re following with customers. Show the kitchen through glass so that they know what’s happening inside. Your hygiene standards will be visible and when they see how informed you are, they will be more likely to trust that your business is taking precautions seriously and that it’s safe to order from you during this time.
Be Clear with your offerings: What options are you offering: Online-ordering or delivery? Make it as easy as possible for them to take action. Make your call to action clear & bold on the website. Do diligent homework & highlight/promote the same thing across channels. This clearly will make you stand out from the crowd.
Only Food and Beverages is not enough: It’s going #vocalforlocal. People are looking to support local businesses. Gift Cards can bring immediate revenue and in small denominations one can start offering gift cards. For merchandise quick & easy one, by setting up an online store within the website &customers can rock merchandise by creating brand recognition. They can post photos to social media of them wearing merchandise as a way to further support to your restaurant.
Let People Find You: Use SEO so that it’s easy for people to find your restaurant online. While at home, there are more people online now than ever before make sure that those who are searching for local restaurants can find you. Be in their close reach. Make sure the delivery team follows the same standards which kitchen team is following.
Tell Your Story & Spread Positivity: Easier said than done right? Share about your team’s strength & background. Tell customers about your journey, how you choose the location, crockery & interiors. Be sensitive with what you speak. People are craving for positivity. Use humor or DIY to teach people cooking. “Make story telling a part and parcel of your offering”, quotes Bhavya Kohli of Pho King, a Vietnamese Restaurant in ChampaGali.
These are uncertain times and all we can do is, give our best shot. People will certainly take time to come & enjoy fine dine. You have to be innovative & follow the new normal. Market will bounce back & you will be better equipped if you don’t give up now.
About the Author: Dinesh Bhasin, is the founder of bread n butter, an advertising agency. Helping businesses grow by giving them marketing & communication strategy and by designing social media & advertising campaigns for both online & offline mediums.