If there’s one industry that’s been hit the hardest in COVID-19, it’s restaurants. Between the stay-at-home orders, limited capacities, and stark regulations to stay open, many restaurants are suffering with low restaurant sales.
Luckily there are ways to save your business and boost sales. Check out our top tips below.
- Offer online ordering
Everyone does everything online today. If you offer online ordering, you’ll increase the likelihood of sales. People today want convenience. If they look online and can’t find a way to order with you, they’ll move on quickly.
Don’t let that happen.
Here are a few ways to offer online ordering if you don’t already:
- Set up mobile ordering on your restaurant’s app
- Set up online ordering on your restaurant’s website
- Contract with one of the delivery services, such as Grubhub or DoorDash
Offering online services is convenient and it gets your restaurant name out there more. If people aren’t familiar with your restaurant, but they come across it on Grubhub or DoorDash, they may give it a try.
- Stay active on social media
Let your customers and future customers know that you care about them and their health. Post updates on social media regarding how your restaurant is handling the precautions. What do you do to keep customers safe?
How are you thinking outside of the box to cater to your customers? That’s what they want to see. They don’t want restaurants pushing sales for the sake of pushing sales. They want to patronize restaurants that are taking the bull by the horns and figuring out a way to get their favorite dishes and drinks in your hands safely.
Here are just a few things to share on social media:
- Behind the scenes footage of how you handle the pandemic and everyone’s safety. This is big right now so you can’t post it too much.
- New, creative offerings you have whether it’s a package deal to help families have a fun night at home or a new offering that customers have always wanted but didn’t have time to create. We all have nothing but time now.
- Specials or deals, especially if they’re time sensitive. You give your customers a sense of urgency that they must come now or they’ll miss a great deal.
- Streamline your offerings
With fewer (if any) customers in your restaurant, now is not the time to go all out on ingredients and supplies. Simply your offerings and you’ll make it easier on everyone. Keep the fan favorites and choose a few others. You’ll keep your costs down and simplify the process for your customers, increasing your restaurant sales.
Streamlining doesn’t mean cutting back or making less money. If anything, you may even increase your profits by reducing your expenses and focusing on the dishes, drinks, and products that your audience loves the most.
Here’s what you can do.
- Take a poll. Ask your audience what they love the most. Social media is a great platform for this. This way you know you are keeping the right offerings and getting rid of the ones that aren’t so popular right now and may be a waste of your money.
- Promote the products you are keeping. You can’t keep everyone happy, there will be people who miss your other products, but promote the items you are keeping. Create urgency in them with specials or even create fun contests, like if you sell X number of a certain dish on a Friday night you’ll offer a special the next day.
- Increase your digital marketing efforts
If you’ve relied only on in-person marketing, you could be missing out today. Everyone relies on the internet, especially while they are stuck at home. If you want to expand your reach, you have to get online and promote yourself on social media and even via email newsletters.
Create an opt-in so your customers provide their email addresses in exchange for something. It could be a discount, like 10% off, or something free, like a free cookie with your next purchase. The idea is that you get their email address so you can advertise to them in the future.
Your digital marketing efforts could include:
- Email newsletters that have specials, announcements for new dishes, or new offerings. It could also be a way to share with customers how you’re handling the pandemic and keeping everyone safe.
- Social media posts and paid advertising. Sponsored posts aren’t as expensive as most people think and since they’re so targeted, they often have a great return on your investment.
- Offer healthy options
Today everyone is concerned about staying healthy. Show your customers you are on board with what they need by offering healthy options. Whether you always offered healthy food or it’s a new offering for you, it gives families other alternatives.
Here are a few ways to advertise your new offerings.
- Showcase your new offerings on the home page of your website.
- Promote the new dishes on social media in a post that talks about COVID-19 and staying healthy.
- Stay up-to-date with your customers via email newsletters.
Boost your Restaurant Sales Today
It’s never easy to see sales slipping, but if COVID-19 taught us anything, it’s that we need to pivot our offerings. There are many ways restaurants can serve the community even if you are on stay-at-home orders.
Find out what your audience wants and needs and find a way to do it. The restaurants thinking outside of the box, creating new offerings, and finding ways to serve their customers are the restaurants that will survive the pandemic. Are you one of them?