Today, it is more relevant than ever to communicate with your customers through digital channels. As authorities impose new restrictions, people’s behaviors are changing. And these new behaviors will probably last a long time after the most critical phase is over. Therefore, it is important that you communicate with your guests, and potential customers, through your digital channels in order to market offers and alternative ways to purchase from you.
Keep in contact and communicate with your customers directly through your website, social media, Google My Business, emails, billboards, signs, etc., to communicate additional services you offer during the COVID-19 outbreak. Also take the opportunity to provide support and sympathy in this turbulent, difficult time.
There are many ways to encourage your customers to support your business without having to step into your restaurant. Such as, online ordering, street pickup or takeaway.
I have put together some tips for you.
1. Use social media to enlighten that you offer takeaway
Clarify, through your social media accounts, like Facebook and Instagram, that you offer takeaway. Add a link for your followers to click and order from a menu. Make sure to include your opening hours and contact information. And remember – the fewer clicks, the better.
Social media can also help you reach new customers. Facebook alone has over 1.6 billion active users, daily. Instagram has over 300 million active users on daily basis and food and drinks are the most popular content to share on the platform. Ask your customers to share on social media when they buy from you.
2. Clarify the terms for takeaway and home delivery on your website
Make sure you announce takeaway and home delivery options on your start page. Your visitors should not have to click around in order to find this information. It needs to be clarified in two places: the start page, and on the menu page. Also include information regarding order and payment, along with pickup procedures. It's good to be clear, don’t have your guests guessing.
3. Keep your website updated and explain your plan of action
Writing a few sentences about the current situation on your website, explaining how you adapt the way you work gives your guests’ confidence in you. Putting your head in the sand, not mentioning the current situation on your website may seem quite strange – as this is the worst crisis our society has experienced during the postwar period. Carefully explain how your guests can remain in contact with you and purchase your food.
4. Find the technology that supports you and your restaurant
Today, there is a plethora of technical solutions for restaurants that help streamline processes from booking and ordering, to payment and service. Make sure to invest in a system that supports your type of business and allows you to make quick edits to your offer. Such as adding take away and pick-up, in times like these. Moreover, choose a supplier that you know will remain in business.
Read more about our solutions for restaurants, especially our new mobile order and payment solution, Trivec Buddy. It streamlines the order and payment flow and minimizes physical contact.
5. Boost your posts on social media to increase your reach
When marketing on social media, it is important to meet your target groups where they spend the most time. If you know that most of your customer base consists of Millennials and Gen Z, you need to invest in your Instagram strategy; if your customers are mostly parents with teenagers, Facebook is the place to be.
How to boost a post on Facebook
Once you click the “boost post” button, you are taken to a new page where you can select a target audience. By default, you can choose to include only people who currently like your page, or all followers and their friends. However, most companies think it is better to target a specific demographic group based on age, location, gender or interests. See what suits you best.
If you offer takeaway, you can boost the post when a potential customer comes within a certain radius of your restaurant. This way, you can reach customers and encourage them to come to your restaurant.
6. Earn clicks on Google searches with Google Ads
Advertising on Google means that your website will show up in certain search results (keywords or phrase chosen by you). Some phrases and keywords, such as “restaurants near me,” cost a lot per click due to search volumes. Other keywords, such as "Italian restaurants in Vasastan (a neighborhood in Stockholm)" cost much less due to a reduced audience reach. Try a few different variations and see what gives you the best conversions and fits your budget! Google Ads allows you to set a max budget for your ads to ensure you don't spend more than you thought.