We’re currently living in an extraordinary period that’s forcing businesses in the hospitality industry to adapt to new situations on a daily basis. As well as having to adjust to different restrictions and conditions, there’s the most significant challenge of all: how to attract diners to a restaurant during COVID-19.
“Next time I come back, I’ll order that dish (because I’ll definitely be back!)”. “What lovely staff!”. To generate these kinds of thoughts in customers, you have to carry out a number of actions to attract their attention and pique their interest so that, as well as coming to the restaurant, they enjoy the experience, return and recommend it to their friends and family.
If you’re reading this blog post, no doubt you’re already carrying out loyalty actions. Even so, we want to help you by offering a few more solutions so that everyone who eats at your restaurant (either in person or through a delivery) wants to come back.
1.No nasty surprises! Always let your customers know how to find your restaurant. Make sure you provide opening and closing times, weekly closing days, lunch and dinner service hours, reservation and takeaway/delivery availability, etc. Any useful information so that customers always know how and when they can visit your restaurant is crucial. These days there are countless platforms where you can keep your customers informed, such as Google My Business, your website or your social media.
2.Health and safety at your premises has become even more crucial. If it was important before COVID-19, it’s now more essential than ever. Show that you’re committed to helping combat this virus and that you comply with all current regulations. Inform and inspire confidence in your customers!
3.A menu for all! Nowadays you have to adapt to the new requirements of so many diners. Therefore, adapt your menu to cater for all types of diets (gluten-free, vegetarian, vegan, allergens, etc.) and show that you care about all your customers. For a potential customer, there’s nothing like finding the perfect place where they can enjoy a meal adapted to their needs.
4.Use social media! You have the biggest advertising and marketing channel at your fingertips, take advantage of it! Keep your social networks up to date and show that you’re engaged with your community. You can also respond to questions there and then, so don’t leave comments and messages unanswered; make sure you show each of your potential customers that they’re important to your business. There must have been a time when you’ve seen a photo of a particularly delicious looking dish and you’ve thought, next time I go out to eat, I’m going to book this place to try it! Think like a customer and you can’t go wrong.
5.The rise of online ordering. Even if the doors of your restaurant are open, there are still people who prefer to stay in and enjoy their meals at home. Take this opportunity to start a takeaway or delivery service and build customer loyalty that way. Remember, for it to work and for customers to be satisfied, you need a good delivery or collection service, as well as appealing and practical packaging (both for transporting and preserving the food).
6. The hook of promotions and special offers. This is the icing on the cake to tempt diners. Promotions and special offers are the ace up your sleeve to promote your restaurant and attract new customers. Furthermore, with an effective geographically targeted advertising campaign, you can reach more people in your catchment area and entice them to your restaurant. Remember, you can take advantage and use a second hook to get them to come back (a small freebie, a second discount voucher, etc.).
As we said at the start, you have to adapt to what every day throws at you, and success comes with experience. Even so, start by introducing these small changes and you’ll soon be reaping the rewards.