During these uncertain times, what actions is your restaurant taking to keep your customers? The restaurant industry has been deeply harmed by the 2020 COVID crisis. This is the time to focus on engaging with your community and loyal customers to stay afloat. 

The goal is to find new ways to encourage your customers to support your restaurant. In today’s market, local businesses are finding creative ways in how they serve their customers.

Customers want to be loyal during these hard times but also need to see the changes made. It’s about delivering an experience and ensuring it’s safe. 

This Will Take Time 

The resilience that the restaurant industry and its customers are tackling is amazing. In most cases, to save restaurants, it’s all in the hands of your customers.

So, to encourage them it’s best to come up with different tactics than normal. Only time will tell when on-premise dining will return. Until then, we’ve collected some ideas to help entice your guests to support your restaurant. 

Here are five things your restaurant can do to drive its customers as they deal with the effects of COVID-19: 

1. Curbside & Online Ordering Specials 

One way to encourage your customers is to offer online ordering/takeout specials. Let your customers know that you are still open with the hashtag #OpenForDelivery. 

The hashtag #OpenForDelivery is a campaign by DoorDash that restaurants are taking part in across the country. This is spreading on social media to let their customers know that they are still open and delivery is safe. 

While doing that, another idea to drive your customers is to offer daily drink and food specials. Get creative with your offering and create family meal deals and to-go cocktails. They are pushing sales of booze to-go for individuals or big sizes for families to split. There’s the opportunity for filling up growlers with your favorite beer on tap and more. 

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Tomorrow morning come on in and grab our new Second Nature Breakfast Box! Cook and enjoy a classic Second Nature brunch at the convenience of your home! Your Breakfast Box will contain 8 cage-free eggs, 8 pieces of our Applewood Smoked Bacon, 8oz. deli container of fajitas, 32oz. mason jar of orange juice, and 2 lbs. of our famous breakfast potatoes! Call in and pre-order yours for pick up! Only $40 per box and while supplies last. Great for a family of 4 or add a bottle of champagne to really enjoy a brunch weekend! Want to add more to your Breakfast Box!? Take a look at our Farmer’s Market and grab more fresh veggies and fruits 🌱 #stayhome #stayhomestaysafe #cookathome #secondnature #pacificbeach #northpb #sandiego #sandiegoeats #secondnaturepb #breakfastbox #breakfastathome #brunch #sundayfunday

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Unfortunately, some restaurants, haven’t been able to stay open during COVID-19 and industry workers are losing their jobs. Because the support of the industry is so strong, some places are offering exclusive specials for restaurant workers.

The biggest relief that restaurants can get is from other each other. We’re all in this together, helping local restaurants and the community. 

Every restaurant can benefit from offering online ordering. Learn how to get set up with an online ordering solution here. 

2. Gift Cards

Currently, the restaurants that have chosen to stay open are looking for alternative ways to make profits. Promoting gift cards is one of the most essential ways to keep business running. Through this social distance and isolation time, it’s best to push e-gift cards.  

Offering gift cards is imperative during this time to give your business a boost. Your customers can buy gift cards for future use and it’s a nice form of income in this time of uncertainty.

Promoting your gift cards at a discounted rate such as 10% off is a great incentive for your guests to purchase more. This is also something that guests can pass along as a gift or use as soon as your doors reopen.

A small gesture can go a long way and it’s an easy way for your customers to continue their assistance. It’s the gift that keeps on giving.

3. Community Partnership

Your restaurant’s involvement in the community right now is essential. During this crisis, you want to help small businesses as well as those struggling. It’s hard for a lot of people to make ends meet and every little bit helps.

If your restaurant can give back to the community, now is the time. You can partner with local groups and donate to those families and people in need.

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Another successful food drive, this time in partnership with @elpescadorcarson, we gave away 2,000 meals to those in need during these difficult times. #GloriasHP —————————————————————— Thank you to our sponsors @missionfoodsus // @missionvibes, @theperfectpuree. —————————————————————— Thank you to all the volunteers and Chefs @juansj3, @chef_aaronsanchez, @chefrociocamacho (La Diosa De Los Moles), @gmcaldera (@theknottedapron), @chefvicenteortiz (El Pescador), @chefmguerrero, and @manny_hinojosa, global ambassador for @tequilacazadores. —————————————————————— We will be announcing more food drives in the coming weeks, keep an eye on our social media channels for more details! —————————————————————— #food #foodies #fooddrive #mexicanfood #missionvibes #missionfoods #burritos #spreadlovenotfear

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An example is BGoldN in the city of Golden, Colorado. BGoldN is a partnership between businesses and volunteers serving the community. It’s formed to help families and community members affected by the COVID-19 crisis. There’s a handful of participating restaurants and they all provide for those in need.

With adapting to recent changes, any support is appreciated within your community. Some restaurants are also channeling their hardships and turning them into appreciation. They are serving their community by feeding health care workers and first responders. It’s a way to show appreciation to those working around the clock to keep us safe.

One meal can make all the difference in somebody’s hard day. Partnership feeds the community and it will help keep your restaurant afloat.

4. Spread Positivity

Another big action currently going on is spreading kindness. Positivity is contagious and can help the industry and its customers at the moment.

Social media is a great outlet to keep your customers aware of your daily efforts. At the end of the day, upload a photo thanking your customers for all their support during this time. You can also encourage your customers through daily stories of your hard work.

In the spirit of spreading positivity, this also gives your restaurant a chance to showcase its role in the community. If you are donating meals to first responders and essential workers, let your customers know. This ensures that you are doing everything in your power to help.

This will drive more help and build lasting relationships with your customers.

5. Extend Your Offering

Boost your business and drive your customers to buy more than their typical meal from you. By adjusting your typical offerings, you can gain more customers down the road. 

People are looking to buy fresh produce they would get at grocery stores or farmer’s markets. But, it’s gotten to be more of a hassle and less accessible. Consider offering things such as basic groceries and produce, a makeshift market. Your restaurant can build fresh veggie packs to-go or offer a la carte.

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This allows your customers to support you and get their necessary items at the same time.  It’s a safe, fast, and easy way for your customers to get the groceries they need. 

Opportunity ahead

Your customers are what keep your business alive. Though these times are not ideal, we’re here for you.

Whether you’re looking to extend your online ordering or menu, CAKE’s point of sale system can do it all. Make it easy to manage your restaurant and drive more customers to come in when the time comes. 

Let’s remind our customers that hospitality is essential and we will get through this.