3 WAYS TO KEEP YOUR CUSTOMERS WHEN YOU
Prior to COVID-19, customers were able to physically experience your brand. They could hear the music, feel the energy from the crowded dining room, interact with your staff and enjoy your food. The combination of those elements created moments that were memorable and kept your restaurant top of mind.
But, that physical experience is not an option for guests right now and in your temporary closure, it's imperative to deliver a digital experience that aligns with your brand and keeps awareness high. Staying connected, even through a closure, will help customers come back when you are ready to reopen.
Below are some ideas to communicate and connect with your customers in a meaningful way while you are closed.
how TO PLAN YOUR REOPENING NOW.
Being in the restaurant industry right now is a challenge and closing down is definitely not something that you had planned when you were toasting to a prosperous 2020. But in the last few weeks, we have seen a phenomenon where every restaurant became a startup overnight.
And in the startup world, being optimistic, creative and resourceful are the key factors to success. Here are three ways to start planning for your reopening now.
1. Plan your communications.
When you are ready to reopen, how will you let your customers know? Set aside some time to develop, write and layout your communications so you are ready when you reopen. Consider communications through email, social media, direct mail and community sites that can help get the word out.
When it comes time to reopen, you will have your hands full in serving your guests, so preparing communications now will help you have one less thing to worry about.
2. Plan some enticing offers.
Do your customers have a favorite dish? Consider launching a "reopening" special offer or creating an offer for your most request guests. Using incentives to get customers back in the door will help you remind them about the customer experience that only you can offer.
3. Make it a celebration.
It's going to be a happy day when you open your doors again. How can you celebrate with your staff and customers? Consider planning a reopening theme that you can use in your communications and incorporate it into your decor or menu. You might want to create a celebratory drink with a fun name, signage that announces you are open again or a giveaway with prizes for all who participate. The key is to involve your guests in the fun and make it a special moment...because it will be!
4. Focus on your customer experience.
The experience you provide is why your customers come back. Take a look at the current experience you offer and brainstorm small ways to improve it. Divide up the experience into categories that might include:
Discovery/Awareness: How do customers find you?
Research: How do customers learn about you?
Onsite Engagement: What is the experience in your restaurant?
Pickup/Delivery: How easy is it to get your food when you aren't eating in?
Online Engagement: How do customers interact with you in between purchases?
Consider each area and write down ways to make that experience better or more personalized.
There is a lot to consider and deal with during these stressful moments, but setting aside some time each day to focus on your reopening, might be the motivation you need to keep moving forward.