As the ever-evolving situation of COVID-19 persists throughout America and states figure out how to re-open businesses effectively, knowing how to market your restaurant for the rest of year is vital. In spite of the uncertainty, restaurants must engage and communicate with their customers effectively.
A lot has changed how to market to your customers during this time, yet certain basic marketing fundamentals remain unchanged. In this article, we discuss the key marketing principles to implement on your path to re-opening your restaurant.
Key restaurant marketing strategies during COVID-19
So the question is – what foundational marketing principles remain unchanged and even become vital during these times?
1. Being found online
We live in a digitally-driven era, and if there is anything business owners have learned from this pandemic, it is that it’s evidently necessary for your restaurant to have an online presence to help you weather out any storm. Having an online presence has allowed businesses to continue to generate sales, survive, and even thrive during this global pandemic.
Now more than ever it is important to develop an online ordering and delivery system that will keep your business up and running. Beyond that, having an attractive website design for your restaurant is a great way to keep your local community in-the-know with your restaurant’s updates. Websites as well as multi-channel pages are a great way to not only build brand reputation, but a great platform to share new specials, promotions, and the steps your restaurant is taking to re-opening your restaurant once again.
2. Digital Engagement
Customers like to talk to people, not products. Before making any sort of purchase, customers need to get to know your business. These days, potential customers weigh in heavily on previous buyers’ experience with your product or service. More conversations and positive interactions with customers build their trust and loyalty.
Creating engaging content gives an invitation to your audience to really get to know your brand. This is an opportunity to share what your business is about and what makes you stand out from the crowd. Transparency with customers builds trust over time. Be honest with your audience about how your business is taking action in assuring that their health and safety is the number one priority.
Communicating safety precautions will help alleviate customers of any sort of concern when returning to your restaurant. Share your business’s safety procedures such as outdoor dining, mask requirement, spaced seating, etc. In return, having a positive customer experience will allow for a greater likelihood of them returning to your business and even possibly referring you to their own network.
3. New Guest Acquisition
Acquisition refers to the process of gaining new customers. The goal is to make sure that your marketing message aligns with the customer’s intent. This process may change and evolve over time in order to best fit the needs of the customer.
Before acquiring any new customers it’s important to go back to the basics and do your research on your audience. How could you market to someone without knowing anything about the person and their interests? This is the time to really get to know your audience and collect data on them in regard to their interests, customer behaviors, and which channels they are using. Knowing that information will help in figuring out how to best reach your audience.
4. Repeat Visits
This section seems pretty self-explanatory, but those repeated visits are key to developing momentum, as well as retaining and increasing your business growth. Nurturing those customers and maintaining continual communication with them is key to generating more repeated visits.
Another way to keep customers coming back for more is putting a focus on rewards programs. Setting up a rewards program is an opportunity to remind them that they are a valued customer, making them feel appreciated and incentivized to return to your business. Increasing customer retention can essentially increase revenue for your business in the long run.
Lastly, creating dine-in specials and promotions is another great way to attract customers. Similar to the rewards program, offering dine-in specials and promotions can not only help increase profits but your customer’s experience as a whole. Bundling meals through crossing products on your menu gives more variety for customers.
We are living in such a strange time in history, and in knowing that, following these essential marketing tips and implementing these key marketing tactics, and making those adjustments accordingly will help in easing into the transition better for you and your customers.
If your marketing plan needs some extra work, contact us to learn more about how we can help you!